NHS investment boost to ambulance staff numbers ahead of winter
Ambulance trusts in England will be given an extra £55 million to boost staff numbers ahead of winter, the NHS recently (14 July 2021) announced.
The funding will help the services to recruit more 999 call handlers, crews and clinicians to work in control rooms.
It will also cover the recruitment and retention of liaison officers who manage the handover of patients between ambulances and hospitals.
Each service will decide locally how best to spend their budget to increase staffing numbers such as offering part-time workers full-time roles, recruiting extra call handlers or offering staff incentives to help with retention.
Staff in England answered 890,000 999 calls in June alone – 300,000 more calls than in the same month last year and 150,000 more calls compared to June 2019.
Ambulance call outs remain high with 783,050 incidents last month – 80,000 more than in the same month two years ago.
Anthony Marsh, National Strategic Adviser of Ambulance Services, recently said:
“Despite the pandemic, ambulance services have continued to respond quickly to the public when they needed emergency care.
“While ambulance trusts are already extremely busy, the NHS is ensuring that services have the staff they need to deal with increased demand.
“If you need urgent care, I’d urge you to go to NHS 111 online or call 111 so that you can be signposted to the best option for your needs.
“And if you have been inspired by the phenomenal efforts of NHS staff over the course of the pandemic, there are a variety of vital ambulance roles available, including as a call handler, and I’d encourage anyone considering a career in the NHS.”
In a letter to the ten trusts, NHS leaders said that the funding would allow services to prepare for the winter period and to improve performance.
Each trust will receive a share of funding based on the number of patients they serve locally and they will be expected to start putting these measures in place as soon as possible.
Local services are being asked to work together on plans for how funding will help to reduce average waiting times for category one, two and three 999 calls.
The investment comes alongside record numbers of A&E attendances in major departments, with more than 2.1 million patients attending in June, on top of delivering the biggest vaccination programme in NHS history and the fastest in Europe with 65 million people protected so far.
The NHS answered more than 1.5 million 111 calls in June – the equivalent of more than 50,000 a day – and almost 300,000 more than in the same month last year.
Managing Director of the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives Martin Flaherty OBE, QAM, recently said:
“This additional funding for the NHS ambulance sector is very welcome indeed at a time when ambulance trusts are busier than we have ever been.
“The money will be used to help increase capacity both in terms of available ambulances to respond to patients and also in our control rooms, which are having to respond to unprecedented 999 call demand.”
Hospitals admitted a total of 12.8 million patients in the last year, with 30 people receiving care for non-COVID conditions for every one person admitted with the virus.
Waiting times for non-urgent surgery continue to fall with the number of people waiting more than 18 and 52 weeks down by a combined 130,000.
Latest News from
Patient groups welcome additional NHS support to cover cost of hospital travel03/08/2021 14:15:00
Every patient who needs kidney dialysis will benefit from free transport to and from vital hospital appointments, the NHS in England yesterday announced.
Chief midwife urges pregnant women to get NHS COVID jab02/08/2021 09:15:00
England’s top midwife is urging expectant mums to get the COVID-19 vaccine after new data shows the overwhelming majority of pregnant women hospitalised with the virus have not had a jab.
Theme park joins NHS COVID vaccine drive29/07/2021 14:15:00
Thorpe Park Resort will today (Thursday) join the roll-call of iconic locations to take part in the NHS COVID vaccination programme, the biggest in health service history and fastest in the world.
Vaccine rallying cry to young people as England’s NHS hits 70 million COVID jabs27/07/2021 09:15:00
The NHS COVID-19 Vaccination Programme England has hit another major milestone by delivering 70 million doses of the life-saving COVID jab.
NHS England proposes new mental health access standards22/07/2021 12:20:00
The NHS is set to take another major step towards improving patient access to mental health services with the introduction of five new waiting time guarantees, under plans set out today.
NHS England announces new Innovative Medicines Fund to fast-track promising new drugs21/07/2021 12:20:00
NHS patients are set to benefit from early access to potentially life-saving new medicines, including cutting-edge gene therapies, thanks to a new Innovative Medicines Fund and £680 million of ringfenced funding, the NHS chief executive has announced today.
NHS workforce more diverse than any point in its history, as health service commits to more action on representation20/07/2021 16:10:00
A first of its kind report looking into race equality among England’s doctors has found that the number from black and ethnic minority backgrounds working for the NHS is the highest on record.
NHS ‘Grab A Jab’ Weekend In Final Drive To Get The Country Protected16/07/2021 16:43:00
People can ‘grab-a-jab’ when they pop into Primark or while sunbathing in the park as the NHS vaccination programme seeks to maximise protection before Covid restrictions are lifted.