Hertfordshire missing out on improvements to ambulance services

AMBULANCE service bosses are investing a further �3m into improving resources across the eastern region - but Hertfordshire is missing out for the time being at least.

Latest regional figures have revealed an exceptional and sustained rise in demand since April over and above that which was predicted, a picture which is reflected nationally. And that has been mirrored in Herts where there have been increasing concerns about delays in ambulances arriving to deal with incidents.

The Herts Advertiser has highlighted several recent occasions in which local people have had long waits for an ambulance to arrive.

They include an 83-year-old woman left lying on her floor with a broken leg for two hours before an ambulance arrived, a 78-year-old cancer victim who waited six hours for an ambulance after falling ill and an 86-year-old man from who fell from his zimmer frame and was left for two hours.

The incidents left relatives, neighbours and friends of the people questioning what had happened to the ambulance service and quick-response medics.

The �3 million which the regional ambulance service has received to help with the rise in demand will go towards rota changes and additional vehicles in Norfolk and Suffolk in the first phase followed by Essex. The rota revisions are being implemented to better match resources to demand at a time when the service has to save over �50 million over the next five years.

A spokesperson for the East of England Ambulance Service said: “The new money means that the rota redesign is being reviewed and there is no doubt that Hertfordshire will be under the microscope as well.”