Newspaper reports today claim that the result of an investigation into the East of England Ambulance Service Trust’s downgrading of calls to improve response times has been delayed. Campaigners fear this has been a cover up.
A report was due to be published in July 2014 but this was subject to internal delays and the results are instead expected to be released in January 2015 instead.
The timing comes a week after Act on Ambulances revealed Anthony Marsh will be leaving his post earlier than expected, and just days after Mr Marsh and Health Ministers were caught up in a national story about the possible downgrading of response times across the country which Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is reported to have approved.
Denise Burke, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate and an Act on Ambulances campaigner, said if the allegations are true Mr Marsh should resign immediately:
“If this is true it is a disgrace. How do you decide which calls to downgrade based on limited information over the phone? What has been the impact on patients? It is playing Russian Roulette with people’s lives by effectively deciding who should and shouldn’t be saved.
“If Anthony Marsh has authorised this or covered it up, I strongly believe he should be departing the Trust when the report comes out. If it was someone else, it only highlights why we need more than part-time leadership.
“If true did health ministers know about this when they were considering a bigger plan to downgrade response times on a national scale?
What we need is more investment in our NHS and the frontline service to bring the improvements required. The massaging of figures will not save lives. Patients must be told the truth now. We urge anyone who has had a problem with the ambulance service to speak out.”