Arrangements have been made for 60 military personnel to support East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) with responding to non-emergency patients in the coming weeks.
Due to continued demand on the service and the number of colleagues who are unwell or self-isolating due to Covid-19, the military personnel will work alongside the Urgent Care ambulance crews who attend non-emergency patients across Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Lincolnshire.
Ben Holdaway, director of operations at EMAS said: “As an ambulance service, the most important thing for us is that we are able to provide emergency care to our patients when they need it.
“Transmission rates of Covid-19 in the community have continued to rise, and we have seen an increased number of EMAS staff needing to self-isolate or be absent due to testing positive for Covid-19.
“Combined with the intense pressure the whole NHS system is under, and the high demand on our service, some of our less urgent and non-emergency patients are waiting longer for an ambulance than they should rightfully expect.
“Our new military colleagues will bolster the Urgent Care part of our service which attends non-emergency patients.
“This in turn will ensure our emergency ambulance crews can focus on attending the life-threatening and serious emergencies in our communities.
“While the introduction of military support has always been part of NHS plans in case of increased pressure, we are taking this proactive step now to safeguard the provision of a safe 999 service for our patients in the coming weeks.
“We look forward to making our new military colleagues feel welcome at EMAS.”
The introduction of military support has always been part of NHS plans in case of increased pressure.
The hope is for this proactive step to reduce delays currently experienced by non-emergency patients and safeguard the provision of a safe 999 service for patients in the coming weeks.
The 60 military personnel will follow the EMAS values, policies and procedures, will wear military uniform while helping the ambulance service and will not be driving on blue-light calls.
Training for the military personnel is due to begin later this week.