Sir George visits Andover Ambulance Station
14 Feb 2005
Sir George with Paramedic Jacqui West
Sir George with Paramedic Jacqui West
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Sir George spent two hours at Andover Ambulance Station, ready to accompany the paramedics on any of the calls on their shift.
"It was of course good news that no one needed an ambulance on Monday morning - though it meant that I could not see the team at work."
"Jacqui West took me through all the medicines and appliances that she was trained to use, together with the technology that guides the ambulance to the patient's home and gives the hospital advance information about the patient's condition. Their target is to get to 75% of incidents within 8 minutes - which is a tough target."
"With a patient's prospect of survival and recovery so dependent on the treatment they receive early on, the ambulancemen and women are crucial to improving NHS outputs. I was enormously impressed by the skills of those I met."

Sir George discussed with Neil Cook - the Divisional Manager - future changes to the way the service operates. "The Hampshire Ambulance Service is following a number of other authorities in developing a "hub", with a number of "satellite" stations. This will enable them to concentrate some services, such as vehicle repair and maintenance, on one site instead of dispersing it over several, and enable them to deploy staff more efficiently. It will also enable them to save on overheads. Like all other parts of the NHS in Hampshire, they are under cost pressures.
"But there are no plans to reduce the cover in Andover - either of vehicles or crew. That is what really matters."

The service is about to advertise for more staff - as there are shortages in the north of the County.
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