Ambulance chiefs have defended their performance after being fined for a third year running for missing targets.
East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) was hit with a £3.5 million fine after failing to get an ambulance to 95 per cent life-threatening emergencies within 19 minutes by more than three per cent.
The service has now been fined for three consecutive years – but did meet a second target to respond to 75 per cent of callers reporting a life-threatening emergency within eight minutes.
Dr James Gray, EMAS Medical Director, said: “A tremendous amount of quality clinical care was provided to hundreds of thousands of people across the East Midlands during the 2012/13 performing year, and I thank our clinical colleagues and those working in the backroom functions providing support to them, for their continued commitment and dedication to provide the very best care, often during traumatic and challenging circumstances.
“The speed at which an ambulance response is given to an emergency call is important. There are also other elements that are as vital when providing emergency medical care.
“Negotiations with the organisations who pay (commission) us to provide emergency services have been successful and this year, we’ve been given additional funding which will be spent on extra frontline staff. This is on top of the 140 new staff we announced in March 2013.”