‘Risk summit’ for ambulance service after whistleblower claims

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A ‘risk summit’ on the region’s ambulance service will be held following whistleblower claims that 20 people died in incidents when ambulances arrived late over a 12 day period.

Steve Barclay told the House of Commons yesterday (Monday, January 22) that he had passed on concerns to health bosses, including the chief executive of NHS England, who have now called the summit which will be held in the next week.

It follows comments made in the Commons by Norwich South MP Clive Lewis who said a whistleblower had told him the East of England Ambulance Service had become “critically overstretched as a result of high demand” on December 19 last year.

Mr Lewis added that a decision to move to the highest state of emergency had been delayed for 12 days, and that during that period 20 people died in incidents when ambulances arrived late.

Mr Barclay, MP for North East Cambridgeshire, told the Commons that on receipt of a letter from Mr Lewis he had instructed officials in his department “to share copies with the Care Quality Commission — the independent regulator of all health and social care services in England — to ensure that it is fully aware of the issues being raised.”

He added: “I discussed these concerning allegations directly with the chief executive of NHS England and the chief executive of NHS Improvement this morning, and asked them to confirm to me the actions they will be taking.

“They have subsequently confirmed that they will be holding a joint risk summit regarding the trust in the next week. The CQC will be in attendance.”

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