I have been engaging with NHS Improvement, NHS England and the ambulance service to support improved ambulance performance.
To help meet pressures this winter and beyond, on 6 July we announced £36.3 million of investment in the ambulance service that will be used to purchase 256 state-of-the art ambulances at five ambulance trusts, and to develop vehicle preparation hubs in the East of England and Yorkshire, which will see specialist staff quickly restock, refuel and clean ambulances, getting them back on the road faster.
Additionally, following a rigorous independent evaluation, we have introduced an improved national performance framework for ambulances. These changes prioritise responses to the sickest patients, while helping to reduce long waits for ambulance responses; ensure patients receive the response they need, first time; and improve the efficiency and resilience of the ambulance service in the face of rising demand.
Challenged ambulance trusts, including the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST), are receiving tailored support to meet the new national response time standards. This includes comprehensive cross-system reviews led by regional directors, and the implementation of performance improvement plans. Further actions to deliver improvement at EEAST include additional funding for 330 new staff and 160 new ambulances, alongside the implementation of recommendations from the recently published governance review of the Trust. This will ensure the Trust has appropriate capacity and governance processes in place to meet demand and deliver high quality ambulance responses to patients.