Andy Burnham
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Andy Burnham calls for East of England Ambulance deaths investigation

A shadow minister has called for a full independent investigation into the deaths of 57 terminally-ill patients during a downgrade of 999 calls by the East of England Ambulance Service.

Labour's Andy Burnham questioned in parliament the downgrade introduced by ambulance trust managers between 18 December 2013 and 22 February 2014.

He asked Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to investigate each of the deaths, as it was the "cruellest form of rationing imaginable".

Mr Hunt said his department always carried out investigations into deaths but he supported the ambulance service.

He said the East of England Ambulance Trust (EEAST) had also been given £3.6m to help it through the winter.

Last week, the trust admitted 8,324 patients were affected by rule changes that affected 999 calls, made without consultation, which lasted more than two months.

  • 13 Jan 2015