SECAmb boss to face East Sussex county councillors

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SUS-140616-123820001

The top boss at an ambulance trust is expected to face questions from councillors - after it emerged medics delayed urgent 999 calls.

Paul Sutton, chief executive of South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb), will be answering questions from East Sussex Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) about a project which saw calls re-triaged from the NHS 111 service to the 999 service.

The ambulance trust’s pilot’s project changed how NHS 111 calls were handled, with care being delayed for some patients seeking urgent treatment. It is now being investigated by Monitor.

The committee will also hear how health care organisations, including SECAmb, are preparing for winter.

A report set to be considered by the committee said: “SECAmb has to plan for seasonal variations in activity, in particular a surge in demand for ambulance services across the winter months. The trust also needs to have plans in place to deal with extreme winter weather such as snow.”

“However, given the critical role played by ambulance services in dealing with seasonal demand variations, it was considered necessary to give members an additional opportunity to question the ambulance trust.”

The committee will also be discussing the reconfiguration of beds for patients with dementia - with plans to reduce the number of beds at the Beechwood Ward in Uckfield Community Hospital and the St Gabriel’s ward in the St Anne’s Centre at the Conquest Hospital in Hastings.

The report said: “There appears to be a sound rationale for locating the dementia beds at a single site. However, any reconfiguration to a single site should not be undertaken before a suitable site has been identified with appropriate physical surroundings, facilities and levels of care for patients.”

The meeting will take place at County Hall, Lewes, on December 3.

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