Busiest ever month for paramedics

THE ambulance service covering East Anglia has recorded its busiest ever month - but it has warned if the amount of calls continues to rise at the current rate it would become harder to maintain performance.

THE ambulance service covering East Anglia has recorded its busiest ever month - but it has warned if the amount of calls continues to rise at the current rate it would become harder to maintain performance.

The number of calls the region's ambulance crews responded to soared by 36% last month from October 2002, a rise which has never been conclusively explained.

The East Anglian Ambulance NHS Trust (EAAT) responded to 15,437 calls in October, and still achieved the all-important response time target to life-threatening calls

But Rob Lawrence, the trust's director of operations, warned that if the number of calls continued rising at the same levels it would become increasingly difficult to match its current achievements.


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He said: “We would never want to deter people with a genuine need from ringing for an ambulance, but we would encourage people to get the right treatment for their condition by accessing the most appropriate part of the health service.”

He praised staff for their hard work in achieving the life-threatening call target of responding to more than 75% of Category A calls within eight minutes. The trust achieved 75.51%. The only target where it did not exceed the target performance was in Category B calls, serious but not life-threatening calls, hich it has to aim to respond to in 19 minutes - it attained 93.58% while the target is 95%.

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“You only have to glance at the figures to see that crews, responders, officers and control staff have been under increased pressure, dealing with more calls and patients than ever before,” he said.

A working group to explore the reasons for increases in emergency demand across all areas of health, including ambulance and accident and emergency departments in the region has been set up.

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