Introducing the EEAST Quality Account 2021-22

Our Trust provides emergency and urgent care services throughout Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk. 

During 2021/22 we also provided non-emergency patient transport services for patients needing non-emergency transport to and from hospital, treatment centres and other similar facilities within Cambridgeshire, parts of Essex, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire. 

We cover an area of approximately 7,500 square miles with a resident population of around 6.2 million people. 

We employ more than 4,000 staff operating from over 120 sites and are supported by more than 800 dedicated volunteers working in a variety of roles including: Community First Responders; volunteer car drivers; BASICS doctors; chaplains and our community engagement group. 

The Trust Headquarters is in Melbourn, Cambridgeshire and there are ambulance operations centres (AOC) at each of the three locality offices in Bedford, Chelmsford and Norwich which receive over 1 million emergency calls from across the region each year as well as calls for patients booking non-emergency transport. 

Map of east of England divided into six counties


The east of England is made up of both urban and rural areas with a diverse population. As well as a resident population of about six million people, several thousand more tourists enjoy visiting our area in peak seasons each year. Our area also contains several airports including London-Luton and London-Stansted as well as major transport routes which increase the number of people in our region on a daily basis. 

We have four areas of service provision: 

Response to 999 calls as an emergency and urgent care service 

In 2021/22, our ambulance operations centre (AOC) received 1,456,689 emergency contacts from the public – an increase of 28.1% when compared to the previous year. 

On average, over 2,850 emergency 999 calls came into the ambulance service every day. 

Call handlers record information about the nature of the patient’s illness or injury using sophisticated software to make sure they get the right kind of medical help. This is known as triaging, and allows us to ensure that the most seriously ill patients can be prioritised and get the fastest and most appropriate response. 

Once this key information is established, the response will be selected from a range of care providers including a single clinician in a fast response car, a double staffed emergency ambulance dispatched on blue lights, or a clinical assessment conducted over the phone by an appropriate clinician for patients with conditions that do not require a face-to-face response. 

This response would include advice over the phone from a paramedic/nurse/social worker or a referral to their GP, pharmacist or walk-in centre. 

Scheduled Care Service – Patient Transport Service 

We provide a non-emergency Scheduled Care Service, more commonly known as the Patient Transport Service (PTS) to and from home to outpatient appointments at hospitals or other care centres around the region to help people who need assistance because of their medical condition or age. In 2021/22 we transported 68,294 individual patients and 44,824 patient escorts. Some of these patients travelled more than once, and in total, we delivered 522,654 journeys. 

Special and partnership operations 

The Trust operates two hazardous area response teams (HART) and has a resilience and emergency planning department who work closely with critical care charities and community volunteers to respond to a variety of emergency situations. 

Commercial services 

We operate a number of services which generate income for the Trust. These include first-aid training, medical cover for events and festivals, medical repatriation and the provision of management services to both the public and private sector through our National Performance Advisory Group. 

We also provide a contact centre which takes around 800,000 calls a year for more than 70 different contracts including the Patient Transport Eligibility and Booking Service for EEAST.

Next Page: What is a Quality Account and what does it mean to EEAST and the people we serve?

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