Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust (YAST) will receive £5.4m funding from the NHS. This will come from the £55m funding boost, announced earlier this month, to increase the number of staff. It follows on from a letter from NHS leaders to 10 trusts, saying that the funding would help services be prepared for winter, whilst helping improve performance. The overall funding for ambulance trusts, is anticipated to drive up the recruitment of 999 call handlers, crews, and clinicians to work in control rooms, helping address the current high demand for services.
The trust has experienced an incredibly high demand for its services in recent weeks and has appealed to the public to only use 999 when there is a serious, or life-threatening emergency so ambulance resources are available for patients who need them most.
Chief Executive at YAST, Rod Barnes said: “The additional funding is very welcome, in light of the considerable pressure currently being experienced by all ambulance services and the wider NHS.
“Our recruitment plans are underway, and we are excited about taking on additional staff to provide care to patients across the Yorkshire and Humber region and ease the burden on our dedicated colleagues. Working for the NHS is such a privilege, and I would highly recommend the ambulance service for a very rewarding career.”
The main benefits of the investment in Yorkshire will be:
- Increasing the number of emergency medical dispatchers in its two emergency operations centres in Wakefield and York by 90, and accelerating their recruitment and training;
- additional recruitment and training for 150 frontline staff;
- further clinical support in the emergency operations centres;
- extending the availability of hospital ambulance liaison officers; and
- having an additional 28 emergency ambulances available for winter.
The demand placed on the trust’s services has been increasing every month since January 2021, and July is expected to be one of the busiest months ever for the trust. During recent weekends, there has been a 40% increase in the total number of emergency calls received, and the trust is seeing a higher proportion of calls to patients in a serious or life-threatening condition.