Six extra ambulances and 51 new frontline staff for Derbyshire

Less callers to NHS 111 are being referred to A&E in Lincolnshire
Less callers to NHS 111 are being referred to A&E in Lincolnshire

Derbyshire will gain up to six extra ambulances and 51 more frontline staff after a funding boost from central government.

East Midlands Ambulance Service was granted an additional £9 million in funding by Derbyshire healthcare commissioners, spread over two years, taking its funding for the next year up to £19m.

The service states that this will help it “to realise significant improvements over the next two years in our responsiveness and the quality of care we provide”.

Through this funding, EMAS will be hiring 300 more frontline staff and 50 extra control room operators.

The service cares for patients in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Rutland, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire.

In Derbyshire, this will mean 51 extra staff and “five or six” more ambulances.

Will Legge, the director of strategy and transformation at EMAS, said at a Derbyshire County Council scrutiny meeting that it was important to have ambulance bases right across the East Midlands, not just in cities, but wherever patients may need them.

He said: “These are 12-hour shifts, if it is 30 minutes to work and back for our staff, that’s a 13-hour shift before you have even got dressed and had your breakfast.

“The Derbyshire rurality is very much factored in to our plans for the future.

“The High Peaks of the county are also very much included, where we sometimes have to fight against serious weather conditions, even if the rest of the country is having a whale of a time.

“Our ambulances our typically two-wheel drive, and are fitted with all-weather tyres all year. But in areas like the High Peak we need to find different ways of getting to our patients and that includes four-wheel drive vehicles, more suited to help in those areas. We also are going to ensure that if we have bases for these ambulances further away from towns and cities that they stay in that locality, and don’t work their way, for example, down to Derby over the course of a shift – this will also help ensure we can get our staff their breaks.”

A couple of weeks ago, to mark the NHS’ 70th anniversary, EMAS was gifted another £4.9 million from central government. EMAS is to use this money to buy 37 more ambulances. These would be 27 ‘999’ ambulances, 10 urgent care ambulances and four driver training vehicles.

A total of £36.3 million capital funding was gifted out during the most recent funding boost, which saw six trusts across the country given extra money.