max temp: 11°C

min temp: 7°C


Suffolk/Essex: Complaints over ambulance service nearly double in just two years

PUBLISHED: 13:06 03 September 2012 | UPDATED: 13:06 03 September 2012

Written complaints over the East of England Ambulance Service have nearly doubled in just two years

Written complaints over the East of England Ambulance Service have nearly doubled in just two years


WRITTEN complaints to the East of England Ambulance Service (EEAS) have nearly doubled in just two years, new figures reveal.

The trust, which is trying to make efficiency savings of more than £50million over the next five years, received 686 grievances in 2011/12, compared with 356 two years ago.

But EEAS – whose coverage area includes Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk – said it has seen a 6% hike in call numbers and that it has received nearly 2,000 compliments over the same period.

Earlier this year Suffolk MP Dan Poulter criticised the service for failing to hit response time targets in rural areas.

Figures revealed that between mid-December 2011 and the end of March this year the service fell short of responding to 75% of critical patients within eight minutes.

The complaints figures, released by the NHS, show among Suffolk hospitals, James Paget in Gorleston had the biggest increase over the last three years, while Ipswich saw a drop.

In Essex, Colchester Hospital University Trust saw written complaints fall from 1,076 in 2009/10 to 551 in 2011/12.

A spokeswoman for EEAS said: “Last year – April 2011 to March 2012 – we received 686 complaints, representing less than 0.2% of our total activity, which compared to nearly three times the number of compliments at 1,902 along with thank-you donations totalling more than £130,000.

“As well as a call rise of more than 6% issues related to the increase in complaints include public perception not matching the responsibility of the 999 service, with the majority of response time complaints relating to non-urgent patients, where the response target time is one hour, as well as hospital handover delays.

“Work is continuing with hospitals and the local primary care trusts to help resolve this issue and reduce the pressure on the ambulance service, enabling us to reach our patients more quickly.

“We are also embarking on a public education programme to better inform patients of our response time targets for different call priorities.

“We have robust investigation procedures in place to ensure that learning from the experiences of our patients, positive and negative, can help us improve our service and prevent any adverse incidents from recurring.”

A three-car collision between the Copdock roundabout and Wherstead caused three miles of traffic jams on the A14, just outside Ipswich.

A programme to turn around Suffolk’s special education needs (SEN) provision has been outlined – with an “innovative” pilot set to spearhead the measures.

The concept of time has baffled great thinkers for thousands of years.

A former motorbike showroom in Bury St Edmunds could be turned into a mix of retail units and flats.

Two drivers had a lucky escape near Newmarket after a collision left their vehicles badly damaged.

Millennials face an ‘impossible task’ buying a first house first home in Ipswich, with the average starter home in the town costing £60,000 more than the national average.

They were a mainstay of 1950s and 60s Britain who, in the days before 24-hour convenience stores and online shopping, provided an unrivalled doorstep service.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24