Budget woes as East Midlands Ambulance Trust goes millions in the red
East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) chiefs were told at the most recent board meeting the forecast was for a deficit of £11.9 million.
The trust had budgeted for being just £120,000 in the red.
Despite the poor position the trust has received approval for a £9 million capital loan as part of a £22 million plan to increase and upgrade its fleet of vehicles – a move chiefs hope will contribute to a healthier financial future and the ability to improve patient care and meet response time targets.
Richard Wheeler, director of finance, said: “Nationally the NHS has to save £22 billion by 2020/21. We have fulfilled 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 …