MP says delays reveal need for urgent ambulance funding

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Bassetlaw’s MP has called for more funding for ambulance services after an elderly resident waited hours to be seen after a fall.

The 87-year-old man was home alone when the accident occurred.

Although he was quickly able to summon a volunteer ‘church befriender’ via a personal safety alarm, he lay on the floor of his home in Retford in discomfort for four hours before East Midlands Ambulance Service arrived.

John Mann MP said: “I am glad to hear the gentleman in question is now safely home.

“Thank you to the EMAS staff and the church befriender for their care.

“EMAS staff are excellent, but they are understaffed and underfunded.

“We urgently need more frontline staff and the government needs to provide the funding to keep people safe – especially those who are vulnerable.”

While EMAS is currently recruiting for 10 administrative posts and a chief executive, it says the Retford man’s case was handled in line with new ways of working.

Ben Holdaway, deputy director of operations, said: “For 40 years, our service has been funded and modelled around prioritising patients based on illness or injury and sending the nearest available resource to stop the clock.

“In July, that changed, when NHS England introduced the ambulance response programme, a new way of working for all English ambulance services.

“It gives us opportunity to get the best, most appropriate response to each patient first time. We have already seen improvements, but working to a different model means we need to reflect that in our workforce and vehicles.

“We want to provide all patients with a quality timely response. However, during high demand patients with minor injuries may experience delays and for this we are sorry.”

To learn about how emergencies are now handled, go to bit.ly/2tmjjGv