If you want to know how desperate ambulance services can get to hit targets, just look south.
The struggling East of England Ambulance Service has put into action a plan to make patients share ambulances in emergencies.
In effect, an ambulance could make a detour to pick up patients in separate emergencies ... and all to improve response times set by NHS England.
It may sound barmy, but these are the kind of measures being implemented as ambulance services struggle to hit targets.
Read more: 100 new jobs in North East Ambulance Service thanks to multi-million pound investment
Thankfully, in our community, while the pressures on our ambulance crews have been immense, we haven’t become as desperate as our southern cousins.
And the announcement by the North East Ambulance Service of a £6.5 million investment will help ease public concern as well as the workload on our crews. The key development is the recruitment of 100 new staff.
More paramedics and emergency care assistants can only help improve what is a great service doing its best in trying times.
Alan Foster, lead for the integrated care system in the North East NHS, summed up the importance of the service and the value of this new investment.
He said: “The ambulance service can be likened to being the arteries of the health system that joins together all of the different parts of our regional health economy.
“This investment into the ambulance service will ensure that they will be able to meet the vision for the NHS set out in its five-year strategy.”
Our NHS operates in often desperate times, but we trust the day when emergency patients in our region have to share ambulances to meet response times never arrives.