THE ambulance service has admitted losing £215,000 worth of equipment, including defibrillators and even a stretcher.

Radios, oxygen cylinders and mobile phones also went missing between 2012 and 2014, according to figures released by the East of England Ambulance Service.

A freedom of information request revealed paramedics lost eight defibrillators worth £13,500 each and four other defibrillators worth £2,400 each over two years.

Seven radios worth £500 a piece also went missing as well as stethoscopes, suction units, a stretcher worth £8,000 and paramedic response bags.

In total, equipment worth £215,286 was either lost or left behind during call outs during the two-year period. The trust says, despite the losses, every ambulance is sent out fully stocked.

A spokesman said: “We recognise there is an issue and are looking at how we can minimise any losses. The nature of our crews’ work is very dynamic and unpredictable and providing the best and most appropriate care for patients often involves the use of multiple pieces of equipment, often with patients in critical conditions.

“There are times when all items are not accounted for following a call-out, such as during the transfer of the patient at hospital when it may stay with a patient to ensure continuity of care.

“We have systems in place to ensure that lost, misplaced or unreturned equipment is reported and we are looking at ways to minimise these losses going forward.

“Patient safety is of paramount importance and we have a supply line in place to quickly replace missing items, ensuring our vehicles are fully stocked when sent out on the road.”

The ambulance service is investing £12million in equipment, including defibrillators and major trauma packs.