Fresh job opportunities to care for ambulance patients are being highlighted this week, amid new figures about rising 999 activity.
Figures from the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) show that the number of 999 calls received between April and June 2016 was 10% higher than the same period in 2015.
In the same period, the number of Red 1 calls - for patients in a life-threatening condition - increased by 5.2% compared to the first quarter of 2015. And in July - the start of the second quarter - the 999 tally was 92,595 calls, nearly 12,000 calls more than April, when call handlers received 80,620 calls.
Robert Morton, EEAST Chief Executive, said response times were improving week-on-week, but urged that with increasing activity and demand for performance improvement, more people were needed to help improve capacity to deliver the services expected.
These include filling hundreds of vacancies for intermediate and advanced ambulance practitioners, and the introduction of better clinical career pathway for patient-facing staff.
"Our student paramedics are gaining practice out on the road but this year, most of these students must return to university and will not begin to qualify and be eligible to be fully registered until next March with regular cohorts qualifying and registering up to the middle of 2018. We are doing a lot of work to become a more clinically-focused organisation, that's patient driven and responsive, with work on a type of clinical hub to shape our response to all 999 calls we receive but we need people to apply for these roles now in order to improve our capacity.
"I want to thank my colleagues for their hard work and commitment as, despite the level of responses we need to make, they are providing very high levels excellent patient experience, recognised regularly in the number of compliments received and fantastic feedback in our patient surveys."