CONTROVERSIAL changes to hospital services, which included Wycombe losing its emergency medical centre, have not affected ambulance performance, a health chief has said.

In fact, results are now better than before, said Maria Langler, South Central Ambulance Service Area Manager for Buckinghamshire.

She said she has no concerns over her crews knowing where to take patients and said Better Healthcare in Bucks, the name of the restructuring, has improved aspects of service.

She said she and other bosses spent a long time developing new pathways for all systems for the cardiac stroke unit and Minor Injuries Unit at Wycombe.

Previously she said it had been confusing, particularly the element of where respiratory and abdominal patients go for treatment.

She told the meeting: "My view is one of the best things that came out of BHIB is the protocols now in place are crystal clear."

She said cardiac and stroke patients have been the ones to benefit most. Under the changes, paramedics are now speaking on the phone directly with clinicians at the hospitals to guide them as to the best location for treatment, she said, "My crew no have the ability to pick up the phone and speak to a specialist," she said.

"That's what makes me confident patients are going to the right unit."

She said changes had not adversely affected ambulance performance.

She said: "Our performance last year was better than year before and this year better still.

"Wycombe patients are not suffering from changes from an ambulance perspective."

Asked about possible confusion with taking patients to the MIU, she said: "Actually my crews shouldn't be taking ill patients to the MIU. For me that's not a good use of my resources. As far as injuries are concerned if my patient has an injury and they need to go to MIU the protocol is crystal clear. I am really confident that my staff know what they're doing. I'm not saying they get it right ever single time but that's because patients are complicated. It's not something I have concerns about, it really isn't."

Crews are extremely busy and she admitted Bucks is a challenge but she stressed bosses are starting to see benefits of their work.

The road network in Bucks is not ideal for ambulances, she said and joked that Aylesbury needs a motorway.

Cllr Brian Adams said the roads in the area were 'murder'.