EMAS commits to protecting services despite spiralling deficit and borrowing

East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) has reassured residents in Lincolnshire that it is committed to protecting frontline services despite posting an overspend of £12 million and securing a multi-million pound loan to help with running costs.

The trust is forecasting a deficit of £11.9 million and to date has a reported position £12.46 million deficit against a planned £0.12 million deficit.

It has also emerged that EMAS has successfully applied for a £9 million capital loan from the NHS Trust Development Authority.

EMAS has said that emergency calls have significantly increased and the trust has recruited an additional 300 frontline staff.

Richard Wheeler, Director of Finance at East Midlands Ambulance Service, said: “Nationally the NHS has to save £22 billion by 2020/21. We have achieved our Cost Improvement Programme savings target in 2015-16 achieving efficiencies of £6.4 million.

“However, we have experienced unavoidable extra costs due to responding to a significant increase in life-threatening emergencies and we have also been required to provide extra crews in certain areas to compensate for delays in handing over patients from our ambulances at busy hospitals.

“This means an increase in costs through having more of our highly skilled staff responding to a 999 call every 35 seconds.

“We are not unique in seeing demand increase and many other organisations within the wider health system are in a similar financial position.

“In addition to our work to create greater efficiencies at EMAS, we will continue to work with commissioners and NHS Improvement to tackle the challenges that impact on our finances.

“However, we are committed to protecting our frontline services and we will continue to invest in both people and vehicles so we can deliver improved quality to the communities we serve.”