Vitally important patients get highest quality of care

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I am writing in response to Gerry Kreibich’s letter on the penalty imposed upon East Midlands Ambulance Service (Mercury, June 6).

It’s vitally important that patients across the East Midlands receive the highest quality of care as swiftly as possible and standards are set nationally by the Government.

EMAS were fined at the end of the 2012/13 financial year for falling short of the standard required for the time it takes for an ambulance to arrive on scene so a patient can be transported to hospital.

It is a national Government contract requirement that when a hospital or an ambulance service misses a standard that is expected for patient care, then a penalty must be imposed. This is a task we are contractually required to do as lead commissioners on behalf of 22 clinical commissioning groups in the East Midlands, and supports rewarding improvement and delivery of quality care for all our patients. However, for the new 2013/14 financial year I can assure you that East Midlands clinical commissioning groups have invested money into EMAS in key areas which will help them to transform quality and performance.

Following a review of the emergency operations centre and the fleet capacity, East

Midlands CCGs have invested £3.4m to help EMAS recruit an additional 155 employees and the provision of extra voluntary and private transport. This investment in EMAS is through the ‘Being the Best’ programme - an ongoing programme of improvement with the potential investment of a further £3.4m for 2014/15 based on EMAS delivering their agreed contract performance standards in this financial year’s contract. I hope this reassures readers we have acted and invested to significantly uplift performance so that patientsreceive the highest standards of care from their ambulance service.

Rakesh Marwaha

Chief Officer and Lead Co-ordinating Commissioner for East Midlands Ambulance Service