Boss wants better ambulance service

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PATIENTS are unhappy with paramedics’ response times, the boss of the ambulance service which covers Daventry has admitted.

Phil Milligan, chief executive of East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS), has also conceded that staff are concerned about the current lengthy waits some patients are facing.

But he expressed confidence that recent progress can be maintained if NHS managers continue their funding boost.

Mr Milligan, a former nurse and hospital chief, said: “We are not delivering what the public are after. Response times are the biggest issue.

“There are too many episodes, although we may meet the an overall target, where members of the public have been kept waiting too long.

“We are almost at the 75 per cent target for reaching life-threatening calls within eight minutes.

“But if you’re in that 25 per cent that are waiting longer, then you’re going to say ‘hey, hang on, I’ve still got a condition that’s pretty serious, I need you to be there’.

“Even if they haven’t got a life-threatening condition, it’s not good enough that they may have to wait so long in the cold or wet.”

Mr Milligan said a recent NHS Northamptonshire cash boost, as part of a £3 million injection to ease hospital A&E overcrowding, has seen the pressure eased.

But he said the effect of patient complaints on crews has been noticeable.

The ambulance service also lost an appeal this week against the decision to give the Patient Transport Service (PTS) to a private company.

Arriva Passenger Services Ltd will run the service from July after EMAS lost the £130 million contract in December.

The service provides free non-emergency transport for patients to and from hospital.

Mr Milligan added: “This is very disappointing news for all our PTS staff and volunteers in the county who, like me, were hoping for a different outcome.

“Now a decision has been made, we must focus our attention on looking after the welfare of staff and volunteers across EMAS who are affected by the loss of our PTS tenders.”