Health committee acts over ambulance service after long-term concerns

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The East Midlands Ambulance Service is being referred to an independent panel following concerns overs its performance.

EMAS was recently fined £3.5 million after missing key response time targets for patients with life-threatening injuries. It is now being referred to the Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRP) by Lincolnshire Health Scrutiny Committee.

Committee chairman Coun Christine Talbot said: “The committee have had concerns over the performance of EMAS for a long time and this referral was specifically made as we didn’t feel they had carried out adequate consultation on their ‘Being the Best’ proposals.

“EMAS have been fined for the third year running for failing to meet response times and we have no confidence that closing ambulance stations will improve the situation in Lincolnshire.

“Although it has taken the Secretary of State eight weeks to repond, I am pleased that the IRP will now be looking into our concerns and are carrying out an initial assessment.”

The IRP will submit its initial assessment to the Secretary of State by June 28. There are two possible outcomes - a recommendation that a full review is undertaken or a recommendation that a full review is not needed but should be resolved locally.