Newcastle North MP, Catherine McKinnell, visited the North East Ambulance Service’s headquarters and main A&E control room on Friday (4th March), which are based at the Newburn Riverside Business Park in her constituency.
Catherine met with the NEAS Trust Chairman, Tony Dell, before seeing at firsthand the busy work of the control room operators, responsible for handling 999 calls. The North East Ambulance Service serves a population of 2.6million across the region, and receives, prioritises and responds to around 360,000 incidents every year.
“Investment and improvement in our healthcare system is the number one priority for many of my constituents and it’s so important that MPs stay in touch with how NHS services are operating on the frontline.
“We all take it for granted that, in an emergency, we can call 999 and will be dealt with quickly and appropriately. Seeing at firsthand on Friday how this works in practice was incredibly valuable.
“My visit has given me a better understanding of the some of the key issues facing the NHS at what is a very tough time, and a chance to experience some of the daily challenges for staff on the frontline. It also confirmed for me the dedication and professionalism of NHS staff who are our first port of call in an emergency.
“I was very impressed during my visit, and I’ve also arranged to spend a shift ‘third manning’ with a local ambulance crew in the coming weeks, which will give me an even clearer insight into the day-to-day working life and pressures of frontline NHS staff.”