AMBULANCE service managers are facing an uphill struggle to bring the service up to scratch because of past mistakes, an Essex MP has claimed.
Tory Priti Patel is a staunch critic of the East of England Ambulance Service, in and out of the House of Commons, and has accused it of “appalling” mismanagement Ms Patel spoke to the Echo in the wake of our revelation half the ambulances called out to emergencies in south Essex were crewed by student paramedics.
Our story followed an inquest into the case of GreatWakering mum-to-be Trudy Glenister, 38, who bled to death from an ectopic pregnancy after two student paramedics took 40 minutes to get her to Southend Hospital.
Ms Patel, MP for Witham, said: “That is a symptom of everything that needs to be done to help this service.
“The tragedy reminds us just how much work there is to do. Turning around the ambulance service trust is non-negotiable. It has to happen, as there were far too many delays and a serious shortage of paramedics.
“I’ve been very vocal about the appalling state of the East of England Ambulance Service and howappalling it was that the previous incumbent wasn’t held to account and took no responsibility that people died while they were in charge of the trust.
“These horrible fatalities are completely unacceptable.”
Despite her criticisms, however, Ms Patel said she had been impressed by new chief executive Dr Anthony Marsh, who took over in January.
She added: “He has pledged to recruit more paramedics, improve patient care and improve the time ambulances get to patients, but this isn’t going to happen overnight.
“The previous management was so dreadful the trust is climbing Everest to get it up to standard and is going to have to spend a lot of money. They’ve got a long way to go.”
Basildon mum Karyn Taylor, 41, who learned her daughter could have died because of an ambulance delay is still unhappywith the trust’s performance.
Seven-year-old Jessica was in agony with acute appendicitis, but Ms Taylor ended up taking her to hospital herself after being told she’d wait an hour to for an amublance.
Ms Taylor, of Church Road, Basildon, said: “The trust has still not apologised to me and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone after the experience I’ve gone through.
“I think it was disgusting for it to say it couldn’t send an ambulance any earlier than an hour because the trust didn’t consider it life-threatening.
How could it know?
“My daughter was in agony and vomiting green bile. I was told by a nurse at the hospital that if we had left it another 20 minutes, she could have died.”