Ambulance chief hits out at critics over response times in Lincolnshire

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AN AMBULANCE service has defended its performance after councillors said it was failing.

Lincolnshire County Council called East Midlands Ambulance Service bosses before a health scrutiny committee meeting on Wednesday last week to explain why the service was not meeting its government-set response time targets.

Councillors said the service was not meeting the needs of Lincolnshire residents and suggested the county should have its own service.

But Emas’ director of operations Peter Ripley says the benefits of a more regional service are clear.

He said: “The ambulance service isn’t just about a fast response.

“Safe and quality clinical care is vital to the outcome of the patient and at East Midlands Ambulance Service we are working together, across our divisions, and with the local health community to continue to provide that.”

Mr Ripley pointed to the success of the ToughBooks initiative, which provided crews with durable portable computers to try and cut unnecessary patient transfers by improving communication.

He added: “This is a two way street – clinical advances in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Rutland or Northamptonshire can be passed to Lincolnshire and vice versa.

“A regional service has the resilience and robustness to move available resources around, and therefore to allocate additional resources to an area that is managing a major incident or responding to a call which requires extra support.”

Mr Ripley also used the Hazardous Area Response Team as an example.

The team comprises specialist skilled paramedics wearing personal protective equipment and, according to Mr Ripley, is “a multi million pound investment that would simply not be viable in a smaller, non-regional ambulance service”