THE NHS plan to bring in a further 300 new paramedics to Essex over the next three years following the announcement of new funding.

An extra 330 staff and 160 ambulances will be sought over the coming three years after funding rose from £213.5m spent in 2017 to 2018 to £225m for 2018 to 2019.

Following a wide ranging report from NHS England and NHS Improvement, a group of 19 clinical commissioners in the east of England agreed a new six-year contract with the ambulance service and the agreement will see funding rise again over the coming years.

Deloitte and Operational Research In Health (ORH), the report’s authors, looked at the operational and financial needs of the trust, and to also support the development of a more sustainable way of running the services.

Speaking about the new contract, Robert Morton, chief executive of the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST), said: “This is an excellent step forward as we aim to ease the strain on our existing staff who work incredibly hard for patients.

“That strain has been evident particularly over the last few months, during the increased demand which winter pressures always brings to the NHS.

“As a system, we are looking after more people with complex long-term conditions than ever before.

“This will take time to do. Extra funding will mean the ambulance service can expand to meet the rising demand.”

The ambulance service held talks with the 19 clinical commissioners last year.

Ed Garratt, Chief Officer for Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which is lead commissioner for the 19 CCGs which pay for EEAST services, added: “Commissioners have committed significant additional investment over the next two years to increase both staffing and ambulance vehicle levels.

“Everyone involved is determined to make the necessary lasting improvements to enable well-supported staff to deliver the very best care for patients.”