NHS ambulance trusts will be given a £55m investment ahead of the upcoming winter period, NHS England has announced.
The money will be used to boost staff levels, as well as being distributed across 999 call centres, ambulance crews, and clinicians. The allocation of the money will be dependent on each trust and how many patients they serve in the area.
Anthony Marsh, National Strategic Adviser of Ambulance Services, 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.”
Each service will have its own choice on how to use the investment and it could be used to implement staff incentives to improve retention rates, recruit extra call handlers, or provide the ability to offer part-time workers more full-time roles.
Managing Director of the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives, Martin Flaherty OBE, QAM, 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.”