As we all know, the NHS is under increasing pressure. That is why it is vital public sector organisations, including the county council, do what we can to work together to make sure our health services are sustainable.
I am proud of the council’s track record in working together collaboratively with health colleagues, but we are always looking for further opportunities.
Our successes already include the Joint Ambulance Conveyance Project, supported by LIVES, which sees Lincolnshire firefighters attend medical emergencies in the first vital minutes after a call-out.
We’ve also made great progress in achieving shared premises and training between East Midlands Ambulance Service and Fire and Rescue at Sleaford and Louth. Work is now well underway on the new joint ambulance, fire and police station in Lincoln.
With this in mind, I was delighted to host a summit earlier this month where organisations across the county pledged their commitment to help deliver an improved ambulance service in Lincolnshire.
Attendees included senior NHS representatives, the police and crime commissioner, our deputy leader, chair of the Health Scrutiny Committee and others.
This would aim to improve the speed of response to someone who has fallen, allowing East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) to prioritise the most life-threatening calls.
As well as people getting the care they need more quickly, there will be benefits to the whole health and care system, avoiding unnecessary hospital admissions and allowing ambulances to go to where they are most needed in the county.
A pilot project is planned to be up and running before Christmas. The benefits will be closely monitored and any improvements made in spring 2019. It is being funded by additional government money to help councils deal with winter pressures.
I was very heartened by the local NHS and East Midlands Ambulance Service’s commitment to the county.
They are putting in additional resource which will provide 39 new ambulances in the county and are working on providing a more bespoke service in Lincolnshire.
EMAS also are progressing well with a recruitment campaign to increase the number of clinicians that we have working on the frontline.
To make sure that this investment has the biggest impact on the service our residents get, it is only right that the council and others agree to do all we can to help.