Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 8°C

min temp: 7°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Suffolk/Essex: East of England Ambulance Service close to “meltdown” as key response targets missed

10:08 27 November 2012

Concern as new figures reveal East of England Ambulance Service is continuing to miss key response targets

Concern as new figures reveal East of England Ambulance Service is continuing to miss key response targets

THE region’s ambulance service is consistently missing key response time targets sparking concerns the trust is close to “meltdown”.


New figures reveal East of England Ambulance Service has failed - for four of the last six months - to get an emergency response to 75% of calls within eight minutes.

Some staff are so worried they have turned whistleblowers, raising concerns with regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The trust has also:

- missed a 95% target (for five out of the last six months) for getting an ambulance vehicle to emergency patients within 19 minutes

- seen a hike in the number of complaints, from 102 in September to 144 in October, 81 of which were related to response times

- had six serious incidents in September and October, including two “delays in a transportable resource arriving on scene” and one relating to the loss of confidential files

- missed a target, for six consecutive months, to get 62% of stroke patients to a specialist centre within an hour of being called. September’s figure dropped to 38.3%, the lowest this year.

But the trust said it was recruiting more than 145 staff - including paramedics and emergency care assistants - and changing rotas to improve performance.

Last week trust bosses launched an independent review across its coverage region, which includes Suffolk, Essex, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.

Gary Applin, Unison secretary at EEAST, said: “If we’re not in meltdown now, we’re not far off. It’s very worrying.

“From our own perspective we have complained and said we have got to do something. It feels like we’re hitting our heads against a brick wall and it’s starting to hurt.

“They have instigated an independent review of resource allocation and that needs to be from the top down and that needs to involve every level of management and staff. It needs to be acted upon and there needs to be more investment.”

Therese Coffey, MP for Suffolk Coastal, said: “I’m pressing for a debate in parliament on this.

“It’s a major concern for me and it’s just not good enough, frankly.

“I’ve got a meeting with the trust in February and it’s just a case of keeping the pressure up. We need a step-change in performance.

“We should have had a number of staff starting in Suffolk this month which should improve performance.”

A CQC spokesman said: “CQC has contacted the East of England Ambulance NHS Trust regarding information highlighted to us anonymously about staffing and response times and we are in receipt of a response from the trust with regard to these matters. We are monitoring the service closely in line with our regulatory responsibilities, which will include further unannounced inspections, and are working with our partner agencies with regard to the trust.”

A trust spokesman said: “The trust has responded directly to the CQC. It should be noted the trust was visited and inspected by the CQC earlier this year and was found complaint in all areas.”

He added the six serious incidents would undergo “full root cause analysis” to establish what happened. But he said the figure of six incidents in two months was in line with the trust’s average over the last year of 4.5 each month.

Related articles



Annual Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre

The annual Christmas Fayre will see around 120,000 people descend on Bury St Edmunds over four days.

Nick Alexander, who died in the Bataclan massacre, in Paris, France. Photo: Foreign & Commonwealth Office/PA Wire.

The singer from the Eagles of Death Metal has paid tribute to Nick Alexander for his selflessness during the massacre at the Paris theatre where 89 people died almost two weeks ago.

Hawkedon Veterinary Surgery is sponsoring a bag dispenser and bags for dog walkers to pick up and dispose of dog’s mess in Nowton Park, Bury St Edmunds. Left to right, Cllr Joanna Rayner and veterinary surgeon Rosina Page-Baker with Marley the dog.

A new initiative to reduce dog fouling in west Suffolk has seen dog bag dispensers installed at two popular parks.

Could the Crown car park be replaced by a prefab platform like this one at Manningtree?

Should Ipswich Borough Council spend £3million on doubling the size of the Crown Car Park – or go the whole hog and quadruple it at a cost of about £12m?

The A134 at Assington.

This year’s death toll on Suffolk’s roads is now the worst since 2009 after six fatalities in the last 13 days, according to police figures.

The fire service cordons off an area near Marks and Spencer on Westgate Street where UK Power Networks works to find a gas leak.

A shop in Ipswich high street has been evacuated as carbon monoxide has been detected in the basement.

Bridge campaigners Peter and Mary Curry and Jane Welsh with Braintree MP James Cleverly,

A temporary replacement should be provided in Finchingfield while works are carried out on the main bridge – according to a council report from five years ago.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the East Anglian Daily Times e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24