Ambulance service blames "severe pressure" for missing targets on urgent calls

Bournemouth Echo: Ambulance service blames "severe pressure" for missing targets on urgent calls Ambulance service blames "severe pressure" for missing targets on urgent calls

SOUTH West Ambulance Service has blamed “severe pressure” for missing response targets on almost three out of ten of the most urgent calls.

The service achieved the eight-minute response time for 71.68 per cent of such calls compared with a target of 75 per cent.

The shocking figures mean the service is below the national average for response times for so-called red 1 calls, which include cardiac arrest or life-threatening traumatic injuries.

It also missed its 75 per cent target for red 2 calls, including patients with serious breathing difficulties or a suspected stroke.

A spokesperson for the Trust said it is facing an increase in demand for services and said the high number of elderly people in the area and the number of rural, isolated communities make it difficult to meet targets.

“The Trust would like to make an assurance that the provision of high quality emergency and urgent care services remains our top priority” he added.

The figures, which cover the month of October, have just been released.

The service covers the South West of England, including the whole of Dorset.

Comments (6)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

8:48am Mon 9 Dec 13

Hickery says...

I hope that, before the mudslinging starts on here, people will spare a thought for the frontline staff working under such pressures? Increases in population, increases in 999 calls, but no relative increases in frontline resources. And when extra resources are provided, you can bet it's a 'fast' car responder (to meet those response target times) and not an extra ambulance crew that can actually take patients to hospital. The ambulance crew follows later - sometimes only a minute or two later. Not very cost effective, sending two vehicles to patients just to hit an 8 minute arrival target. And the ambulance crews that are on duty have to work at an exhausting pace to deal with the workload.
Interestingly, if the ambulance service meets an 8 minute response time but the patient dies regardless, that's recorded as a success. But arrive in 9 minutes and subsequently save a life, that's a failure! Targets are necessary, yet they never tell the full story.
I hope that, before the mudslinging starts on here, people will spare a thought for the frontline staff working under such pressures? Increases in population, increases in 999 calls, but no relative increases in frontline resources. And when extra resources are provided, you can bet it's a 'fast' car responder (to meet those response target times) and not an extra ambulance crew that can actually take patients to hospital. The ambulance crew follows later - sometimes only a minute or two later. Not very cost effective, sending two vehicles to patients just to hit an 8 minute arrival target. And the ambulance crews that are on duty have to work at an exhausting pace to deal with the workload. Interestingly, if the ambulance service meets an 8 minute response time but the patient dies regardless, that's recorded as a success. But arrive in 9 minutes and subsequently save a life, that's a failure! Targets are necessary, yet they never tell the full story. Hickery

9:09am Mon 9 Dec 13

60plus says...

I think the ambulance crews are doing a fantisic job,some people are just calling for them because they cannot get to see their doctor with our doctor you need to give a least a weeks notice
I think the ambulance crews are doing a fantisic job,some people are just calling for them because they cannot get to see their doctor with our doctor you need to give a least a weeks notice 60plus

11:52am Mon 9 Dec 13

poolebob says...

It's not just the emergency calls which are a problem.
My wife had to be taken in to hospital last week.
the ambulance was due to arrive within 1 hour. It arrived after 2 and a half hours.
It's not just the emergency calls which are a problem. My wife had to be taken in to hospital last week. the ambulance was due to arrive within 1 hour. It arrived after 2 and a half hours. poolebob

11:55am Mon 9 Dec 13

Aviewoneverything says...

A risk averse call assessment system for NHS111 coupled with medically inexperienced call takers will obviously lead to a rise in 999 call outs. That is compounded by a higher than average elderley population, a significant rise in the local population especially those with alcohol, drug and mental health problems. Not to mention, many peoples definition of an 'emergency'. The ambulance service works incredibly hard to meet its 'targets' however there is a finite amount of resources and until the demand for those resources is reduced through good public education of appropriate use of our 'emergency' services, then the situation will only continue to deteriorate.
A risk averse call assessment system for NHS111 coupled with medically inexperienced call takers will obviously lead to a rise in 999 call outs. That is compounded by a higher than average elderley population, a significant rise in the local population especially those with alcohol, drug and mental health problems. Not to mention, many peoples definition of an 'emergency'. The ambulance service works incredibly hard to meet its 'targets' however there is a finite amount of resources and until the demand for those resources is reduced through good public education of appropriate use of our 'emergency' services, then the situation will only continue to deteriorate. Aviewoneverything

5:34pm Mon 9 Dec 13

Shazzanewcott says...

poolebob wrote:
It's not just the emergency calls which are a problem.
My wife had to be taken in to hospital last week.
the ambulance was due to arrive within 1 hour. It arrived after 2 and a half hours.
So let me get this right, you're moaning as your big yellow taxi turned up late!! Never mind the fact that the big yellow taxi had previously been to numerous 999 calls which will always take priority and crews run ragged for 12hrs if not longer, something to think about hey??
[quote][p][bold]poolebob[/bold] wrote: It's not just the emergency calls which are a problem. My wife had to be taken in to hospital last week. the ambulance was due to arrive within 1 hour. It arrived after 2 and a half hours.[/p][/quote]So let me get this right, you're moaning as your big yellow taxi turned up late!! Never mind the fact that the big yellow taxi had previously been to numerous 999 calls which will always take priority and crews run ragged for 12hrs if not longer, something to think about hey?? Shazzanewcott

8:08pm Mon 9 Dec 13

Tango Charlie says...

A wait at A&E to hand patients over can't help. South Today reported one wait of over 4 1/2 hours tonight. (9th).
A wait at A&E to hand patients over can't help. South Today reported one wait of over 4 1/2 hours tonight. (9th). Tango Charlie

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree