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Lord Carter's report into NHS ambulance service efficiency; will its findings make a difference and stimulate the service to escape “the mediocrity trap?”

Andy Newton (Andy Newton Cloud Consulting, Surbiton, UK)

International Journal of Emergency Services

ISSN: 2047-0894

Article publication date: 29 September 2020

Issue publication date: 6 April 2021

151

Abstract

Purpose

Review of major policy paper in relation to the ambulance service [in England] efficiency and productivity with reference to observed “unacceptable variation”.

Design/methodology/approach

Critical review of ambulance service/EMS policy approach in England.

Findings

Lord Carter’s review describes failings in performance of UK ambulance service/EMS. However, the identified failings are essentially a repetition of many almost identical similar findings. There is a tendency of policy in respect of the ambulance service in England, as exemplified by Lord Carter’s report to consider analysis of the problem a more significant task that actually addressing the shortcoming defined.

Research limitations/implications

This viewpoint comment piece is produced as a viewpoint with all the attendant limitations implied in this approach. However, it has been produced from an informed position.

Practical implications

Challenge to current UK ambulance policy. Previous repetitious finding need to be addressed definitively.

Social implications

The efficiency of UK ambulance services/EMS is seriously impaired, and indeed these findings have been acknowledge previously. However, little by way of active remediation has been attempted. The current approach as exemplified in Lord Carter's recent review appears to ensure that analysis of the long- standing problems that exist is sufficient and possible preferable to active remediation and improvement.

Originality/value

No previous critical review of this type has been attempted (as it would be career-limiting).

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The author would like to thank the editor and reviewers for their helpful comments and feedback.

Citation

Newton, A. (2021), "Lord Carter's report into NHS ambulance service efficiency; will its findings make a difference and stimulate the service to escape “the mediocrity trap?”", International Journal of Emergency Services, Vol. 10 No. 1, pp. 77-92. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJES-08-2019-0045

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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