East Midlands Ambulance Service vows to improve after missing national targets

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THE ambulance service that covers Rutland, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire has vowed to improve after missing national targets for response times last year.

East Midlands Ambulance Service did not achieve the targets of reaching 75 per cent of life threatening calls within eight minutes and 95 per cent of serious but not life threatening calls within nine minutes.

The service is called out to more than 670,000 patients a year.

It achieved an average time of reaching life threatening calls within eight minutes and 41 seconds.

Life threatening calls include people who have suffered from stroke and cardiac arrest.

The service reached 11,000 more patients in under eight minutes than in the year 2009/10 despite a 10 per cent increase in life threatening calls on the year before.

Deputy chief executive of the East Midlands Ambulance Service David Farrelly said: “We have provided a tremendous amount of care to patients this year, often in very difficult circumstances, but there is no getting away from the fact that these are deeply disappointing results for us and for our patients.

“We were hitting the target until the severe snow and ice hit us in the last week of November. The prolonged cold spell brought a dramatic increase in patients with breathing problems and flu-like symptoms through December and into January.

“We are determined to get it right for patients though, and we have invited input from colleagues in other ambulance trusts to advise on how we can regain our former status of only three years ago when East Midlands Ambulance Service was one of the country’s top performing ambulance trusts.”

Last year the service invested £9m in 91 new ambulances and has about 850 vehicles that are called out on average 2,000 times a day between them.