Government Ministers praise Trust after visit to Witham station

Ministers visiting Witham station

Health Minister Rt Hon Earl Howe and MP for Witham Priti Patel joined a crew on Friday (20th February) to experience first-hand what working on the frontline is really like for our staff.

Lord Howe and Ms Patel were welcomed to the Essex station by Chief Executive Anthony Marsh, before joining Senior Paramedics Pippa Brown and Rob King on an emergency ambulance.

Lord Howe said: “There’s no substitute for hearing from experienced ambulance crews what their lives are like day to day, what the pressures are and maybe what some of the solutions are. I could see for myself how busy their jobs are, and how the £3.7million provided by the Department of Health for winter has helped the Trust to meet demand and improve performance.”

Ms Patel added: “Today was really insightful. We had a number of calls and we took a gentleman who was very poorly to Broomfield Hospital. It was interesting to see the regularity of calls and how patients are treated. 

“Pippa and Rob are very dedicated and diligent and the level of care they give patients is first class. What they do is challenging. They are under huge pressures and seeing them in action you can only pay tribute to what they and all paramedics do.” 

It was also an opportunity for the Ministers to hear how the Trust has improved over the last year.

Anthony Marsh said: “It was good to update Lord Howe and Priti Patel on the progress we have made in the areas of recruitment, staff training and upgrading our ambulance fleet that will improve our service for patients. One of the issues discussed was the extent to which the Trust could run the 111 and out of hours services to provide a more efficient and integrated service across the region.” 

Lord Howe said: “I have taken a close interest in the performance of the East of England Ambulance Service.  It is really good to see that the figures are on the up. I’m really encouraged.”

Ms Patel added: “I was one of the MPs calling for a change in the leadership. We got that change and we are now seeing the benefit of it without a doubt – in frontline patient care, response times, new ambulances, and new paramedics coming in. There has been a change in morale and patients who rely on the service are seeing the benefits. There’s still action to be taken but the Trust is on the right path and the improvements being made are welcome.” 

Published 26th February 2015 

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