In response to public concern, last week the Eastern Daily Press regional newspaper launched its Ambulance Watch campaign, focusing on the plight of the emergency ambulance service in East Anglia.

The campaign was launched with a questionnaire asking for feedback from the public and continues with regular articles focusing on related stories from the local area. They have summarised the questionnaire responses so far, with response times and delays being chief amongst the concerns of the public.

I am grateful that the EDP has given some consideration to the road staff who are under extreme pressure to continue delivering good clinical care in an increasingly challenging working environment.

Today, I had the opportunity to present the paramedic perspective in a piece the EDP entitled “Paramedic says ambulance service in East Anglia is ‘broken’.” In it, I attempted to convey the hardships that face ambulance personnel as they are continually squeezed to the point of exhaustion in an attempt to achieve targets.

With the inevitable 999 delays that are already apparent, I am aware that when people are in a state of heightened concern their frustration may be misdirected. It is my hope that the public will not hold ambulance crews responsible for the failings of Ambulance Trusts as a result of irresponsible government demands.

The full EDP Ambulance Watch campaign has thus far included the following articles.

As I stated in my previous article “How the Public Could Save Their Doomed Ambulance Service”, the onus is as much on the public to take greater responsibility to educate themselves to use services appropriately as it is for the government to reconsider their current path which is putting lives in danger.

It is good to see a regional newspaper stepping up and I hope that other organisations and even the man on the street can play their part, as Act on Ambulances has done. After all, it is in everyone’s interests to push for a better ambulance service.


Anonymous · 08/10/2012 at 19:06

Talk about hitting the nail on its head!! absolutely SPOT ON.
Sadly, not only in your area, it seems to be a nationwide ailment.

Mat Westhorpe · 09/10/2012 at 09:45

As I've stated elsewhere on this blog, it was never my intention to encourage the blaming of individuals. I believe the problem is due to the culture within the ambulance system.

Nothing is gained by Hayden Newton stepping down, the culture still remains and the resulting reorganisation that will be required will only mean the present situation will remain unchanged for longer.

I don't believe anyone within the ambulance service is trying to do a bad job, although I think priorities are distorted at the top and there is a fundamental lack of understanding of the situation on the ground.

Ultimately, the Ambulance Trust chief executive position is a poison chalice, I seriously doubt that any future incumbent will fare any better with the existing resources.

Anonymous · 09/10/2012 at 16:08

@Charlie Chucklebrother,
I understand your frustration as we are all on the same sinking ship, but nothing is gained by gloating or your childish offensive and abusive comments. In fact it detracts from the rest of this excellent blog and may turn people away.

Yes as chief executive Mr Newton has ultimate responsibility, but you cannot place all blame at his door. Other board members, senior managers, the department of health and this conservative/lib dem government also have difficult questions to answer.

Charlie Chucklebrother · 09/10/2012 at 16:21

Point taken. It was somewhat of an over-reaction and if it is possible to delete it then I'm all for that. Apologies to all concerned.

Mat Westhorpe · 09/10/2012 at 16:29

I can do that.

Charlie Chucklebrother · 09/10/2012 at 16:29

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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