Ambulance service fined £1.2m over 999 failings

Ambulance service fined £1.2m over 999 failings

Ambulance service fined £1.2m over 999 failings

First published in Echo News

THE East of England Ambulance Service has been fined £1.2million over failures to reach three quarters of life-threatening emergencies within eight minutes.

The trust handles more than 900,000 emergency 999 calls a year in Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.

It has also been fined £300,000 over turnaround times at hospitals.

The new fines, totalling £1.5million, have built up over three months from April to July.

The trust must pay the £300,000 fine now and the £1.2million at the end of the financial year.

It serves 19 clinical commissioning groups, the GP-led organisations in charge of local NHS budgets.

The fines will be distributed among the groups, according to the percentage of their payment to the ambulance service contract.

The lead commissioners are the Ipswich and East and West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group.

Wendy Tankard, its chief contracts officer, said the ambulance consortia members had contributed £9.5million to support the trust’s programme to ensure targets were met above their contract commitments. She said: “They will continue to incur financial consequences if performance standards are not met.’’ Dr Anthony Marsh became o chief executive of the East of England Ambulance Service in January.

A spokesman for the service said it was working hard to turn it around, such as recruiting hundreds of frontline staff, bringing in new emergency ambulances and upskilling staff, while making £10million of savings.

The spokesman said: “We are really pleased with the support from our clinical commissioning groups, especially in the significant investment they have put into the ambulance service this year to enable us to make some of these changes.

“As we get closer to the end of the year, we will be working closely with commissioners to discuss the impact of any fines and how these might be managed.”

Comments (8)

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10:19am Wed 3 Sep 14

RuleBritania says...

What a load of nonsense. How is fining the under preforming department and redistributing the money to other departments going to help the ambulance service meet their goals? I agree they should do better but depriving them of resources does this how?
Only people who will suffer is the public.
Time for a change me thinks....
What a load of nonsense. How is fining the under preforming department and redistributing the money to other departments going to help the ambulance service meet their goals? I agree they should do better but depriving them of resources does this how? Only people who will suffer is the public. Time for a change me thinks.... RuleBritania
  • Score: 25

11:07am Wed 3 Sep 14

bungies says...

of course it should read - 'the UK tax-payer has been fined £1.2million over failures to reach three quarters of life-threatening emergencies within eight minutes.'
of course it should read - 'the UK tax-payer has been fined £1.2million over failures to reach three quarters of life-threatening emergencies within eight minutes.' bungies
  • Score: 8

11:11am Wed 3 Sep 14

stopmoaning1 says...

If they're failing due to financial cuts, why not GIVE them an extra £1.2 million to improve the service.
Unbelievable!
If they're failing due to financial cuts, why not GIVE them an extra £1.2 million to improve the service. Unbelievable! stopmoaning1
  • Score: 16

12:09pm Wed 3 Sep 14

deepblue392 says...

Yeah, this is ridiculous, what good is fining them? It's not going to make them any better, they need more funding, not less. what is the point in punishing them financially, hardly an incentive to do better.
Yeah, this is ridiculous, what good is fining them? It's not going to make them any better, they need more funding, not less. what is the point in punishing them financially, hardly an incentive to do better. deepblue392
  • Score: 10

12:30pm Wed 3 Sep 14

Kim Gandy says...

So they're staffing up are they? They need to get rid of "chief executives" and their equally hugely paid executive officers and other assorted penpushers then.

More frontline staff; fewer fat cat big cheeses helping themselves to copious quantities of taxpayers' money.
So they're staffing up are they? They need to get rid of "chief executives" and their equally hugely paid executive officers and other assorted penpushers then. More frontline staff; fewer fat cat big cheeses helping themselves to copious quantities of taxpayers' money. Kim Gandy
  • Score: 3

5:45pm Wed 3 Sep 14

Now listen for I have something to say says...

Just add the fine amount to the council tax areas where the service is over used by the frequent ambulance callers...
Just add the fine amount to the council tax areas where the service is over used by the frequent ambulance callers... Now listen for I have something to say
  • Score: -1

7:21pm Wed 3 Sep 14

the25man says...

Kim Gandy wrote:
So they're staffing up are they? They need to get rid of "chief executives" and their equally hugely paid executive officers and other assorted penpushers then.

More frontline staff; fewer fat cat big cheeses helping themselves to copious quantities of taxpayers' money.
How stupid could you be all the fines are doing is making it more difficult to get the service that somebody has said they should do.
How many frontline staff could you get for 1.5 million?
With that sort of spend all targets could be reached.
[quote][p][bold]Kim Gandy[/bold] wrote: So they're staffing up are they? They need to get rid of "chief executives" and their equally hugely paid executive officers and other assorted penpushers then. More frontline staff; fewer fat cat big cheeses helping themselves to copious quantities of taxpayers' money.[/p][/quote]How stupid could you be all the fines are doing is making it more difficult to get the service that somebody has said they should do. How many frontline staff could you get for 1.5 million? With that sort of spend all targets could be reached. the25man
  • Score: 3

3:27pm Thu 4 Sep 14

Scout Chairman says...

Sadly many of the emergency deployments are for matters which should more properly handled by GPs or other healthcare professionals. 999 is too often used inappropriately!
Sadly many of the emergency deployments are for matters which should more properly handled by GPs or other healthcare professionals. 999 is too often used inappropriately! Scout Chairman
  • Score: 2
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