'Deep concerns' over East Lancs ambulance response times

'Deep concerns' over East Lancs ambulance response times

'Deep concerns' over East Lancs ambulance response times

First published in News Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Photograph of the Author by , Health Reporter

‘SERIOUS concerns’ have again been raised about the poor ambulance response times in rural parts of East Lancashire.

New figures for the three-month period to May showed more than 160 patients with life-threatening problems, labelled ‘red’ incidents, waited more than 20 minutes for an ambulance to arrive.

Red calls should receive an emergency response within eight minutes.

Four of these incidents were classed as ‘Red 1’, which covers cardiac arrest patients who have stopped breathing, while the rest were ‘Red 2s’ which include other serious conditions such as a stroke.

North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) aims to respond to 75 per cent of red calls within eight minutes but the performance across the East Lancashire NHS area dipped to just 70 per cent in May.

The figures were obtained by Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson, who has repeatedly highlighted the problem in parts of his constituency.

In Barnoldswick, just 29 out of 67 Red calls received a response in under eight minutes in May.

In January, the Lancashire Telegraph revealed that 45 out of 84 wards in East Lancashire missed the eight-minute target between April and September last year. The worst areas included Langho, Mellor, Gisburn, Rimington, Higham, Pendleside and Vivary Bridge, both Colne.

Mr Stephenson said: “We all understand that the service has been put under pressure and it is encouraging that on most targets they are holding up well.

“However, some targets are being missed and in the harder to reach parts of Pendle, this is a serious and ongoing concern.”

He said he has been promised improvements by health ministers, with £28 million set to be made available to struggling ambulance trusts, while NWAS said new measures have recently been introduced to divert patients with minor problems to more appropriate services, which should free up more paramedics to deal with the red calls.

NWAS chairman Mary Whyham said in a letter to the Conservative MP: “I must add that the last quarter has been particularly challenging throughout the North West due to an unexpected rise in the level of activity.”

NWAS is not commissioned to meet the 75 per cent target in local areas but on a regional level, she added. In March, April and May, NWAS attended a total of 5,527 red calls in East Lancashire.

The response time was greater than 20 minutes in about three percent of these cases. The figures did not reveal whether any patients had died because of the long response time.

Comments (5)

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1:34pm Tue 26 Aug 14

mavrick says...

When you cut the budget what do you expect? As for Andrew Stephenson having the cheek to complain it is rubbing salt into the wound. Just for his information it is the Tory led coalition of liars, cheats, and incompetence are the people who cut the budget.
When you cut the budget what do you expect? As for Andrew Stephenson having the cheek to complain it is rubbing salt into the wound. Just for his information it is the Tory led coalition of liars, cheats, and incompetence are the people who cut the budget. mavrick
  • Score: 9

8:05am Wed 27 Aug 14

jenkinsroy says...

ANDREW STOP! LOOK AND UNDERSTAND?
1 Do not forget you and your party mates voted all the cuts in
So you are just has much to blame.
2 When you go back in September do not just sit there and
Listen to the debates get up and ask the DAVID & THE HEALTH MINISTER?
What are they going to do about the problem?
3 you are still our M.P. till 2015 so do your job and sort this mess out
Tell them you want the money to improve the services not.
4 people are fed up now and this government will be out in 2015
So do not sit back and let all this **** happen when you can do something about it NOW do not forget your job is in danger now
As well the voter are watching you and the government NOW?
5 Or is this your party's planes to leave has much damage as
Possible for the next government to sort out? I think this is your party's
Planes and this is why your party are going to be voted out
Around here and in government will lose the 2015 election.
6 But before you go you can make a difference by sorting the
Mess with our ambulances founding if the money is already there
Why? Are they not paying it out are they going to use it for the
2015 election campaign and that is why we have not had the money
Promised to our services I think this is so? So has they say ANDREW
THE BALL IS IN YOUR HAND. Think before you throw it by this I mean
Do your job and sort them out in the house of parliament and tell them
We want our founding NOW after all they say it is there get them
To prove it by ask question in the house and get our money NOW .
ANDREW STOP! LOOK AND UNDERSTAND? 1 Do not forget you and your party mates voted all the cuts in So you are just has much to blame. 2 When you go back in September do not just sit there and Listen to the debates get up and ask the DAVID & THE HEALTH MINISTER? What are they going to do about the problem? 3 you are still our M.P. till 2015 so do your job and sort this mess out Tell them you want the money to improve the services not. 4 people are fed up now and this government will be out in 2015 So do not sit back and let all this **** happen when you can do something about it NOW do not forget your job is in danger now As well the voter are watching you and the government NOW? 5 Or is this your party's planes to leave has much damage as Possible for the next government to sort out? I think this is your party's Planes and this is why your party are going to be voted out Around here and in government will lose the 2015 election. 6 But before you go you can make a difference by sorting the Mess with our ambulances founding if the money is already there Why? Are they not paying it out are they going to use it for the 2015 election campaign and that is why we have not had the money Promised to our services I think this is so? So has they say ANDREW THE BALL IS IN YOUR HAND. Think before you throw it by this I mean Do your job and sort them out in the house of parliament and tell them We want our founding NOW after all they say it is there get them To prove it by ask question in the house and get our money NOW . jenkinsroy
  • Score: 0

8:38am Wed 27 Aug 14

Primus622 says...

The problem does not lie entirely with the ambulance service.Its interesting to note that the areas mentioned are all served by royal blackburn a+e. That is where the problem is.. Since someone had the brilliant idea to close Burnley a+e the ambulance service are trying to squeeze a quart into a pint pot.. if an ambulance is in a queue waiting to offload a patient it cannot respond to a call..Reopen Burnley and the queue will disappear, freeing up crews. Just like a supermarket with half the checkouts closed. The problem is, no one is prepared to admit that the closures may have been a mistake..If more ambulances are provided then the a+e queues get even longer. The supermarket checkout queue is not solved by piling in more customers but by opening more tills...
The problem does not lie entirely with the ambulance service.Its interesting to note that the areas mentioned are all served by royal blackburn a+e. That is where the problem is.. Since someone had the brilliant idea to close Burnley a+e the ambulance service are trying to squeeze a quart into a pint pot.. if an ambulance is in a queue waiting to offload a patient it cannot respond to a call..Reopen Burnley and the queue will disappear, freeing up crews. Just like a supermarket with half the checkouts closed. The problem is, no one is prepared to admit that the closures may have been a mistake..If more ambulances are provided then the a+e queues get even longer. The supermarket checkout queue is not solved by piling in more customers but by opening more tills... Primus622
  • Score: 2

10:24am Wed 27 Aug 14

petestan says...

Primus622 wrote:
The problem does not lie entirely with the ambulance service.Its interesting to note that the areas mentioned are all served by royal blackburn a+e. That is where the problem is.. Since someone had the brilliant idea to close Burnley a+e the ambulance service are trying to squeeze a quart into a pint pot.. if an ambulance is in a queue waiting to offload a patient it cannot respond to a call..Reopen Burnley and the queue will disappear, freeing up crews. Just like a supermarket with half the checkouts closed. The problem is, no one is prepared to admit that the closures may have been a mistake..If more ambulances are provided then the a+e queues get even longer. The supermarket checkout queue is not solved by piling in more customers but by opening more tills...
Whilst I agree with you the reality is Burnley A+E is never going to reopen, if it did it would probably need a fortune spent upgrading equipment then the trust has to pay for the extra doctors, nurses, beds, etc. The local trust is already massively in debt / overstretched due to the PFI contract on Royal Blackburn they can't afford to reopen Burnley unfortunately.

Hospitals across the country are closing due to the Tory cuts they don't give a **** because they all have private health insurance and spend most of their time in London where they are close to hospitals.

All the Ambulance Service bosses care about are hitting the regional targets as you can see from the quote "NWAS is not commissioned to meet the 75 per cent target in local areas but on a regional level, she added". Which effectively means we don't give a **** about individual area response times because we still get our massive bonuses if we hit the targets regionally, so a few people may die as a result that doesn't matter they would probably have died anyway.
[quote][p][bold]Primus622[/bold] wrote: The problem does not lie entirely with the ambulance service.Its interesting to note that the areas mentioned are all served by royal blackburn a+e. That is where the problem is.. Since someone had the brilliant idea to close Burnley a+e the ambulance service are trying to squeeze a quart into a pint pot.. if an ambulance is in a queue waiting to offload a patient it cannot respond to a call..Reopen Burnley and the queue will disappear, freeing up crews. Just like a supermarket with half the checkouts closed. The problem is, no one is prepared to admit that the closures may have been a mistake..If more ambulances are provided then the a+e queues get even longer. The supermarket checkout queue is not solved by piling in more customers but by opening more tills...[/p][/quote]Whilst I agree with you the reality is Burnley A+E is never going to reopen, if it did it would probably need a fortune spent upgrading equipment then the trust has to pay for the extra doctors, nurses, beds, etc. The local trust is already massively in debt / overstretched due to the PFI contract on Royal Blackburn they can't afford to reopen Burnley unfortunately. Hospitals across the country are closing due to the Tory cuts they don't give a **** because they all have private health insurance and spend most of their time in London where they are close to hospitals. All the Ambulance Service bosses care about are hitting the regional targets as you can see from the quote "NWAS is not commissioned to meet the 75 per cent target in local areas but on a regional level, she added". Which effectively means we don't give a **** about individual area response times because we still get our massive bonuses if we hit the targets regionally, so a few people may die as a result that doesn't matter they would probably have died anyway. petestan
  • Score: 2

10:39am Wed 27 Aug 14

Primus622 says...

As a retired paramedic with near 30 years service I have some insight into this problem... whatever the ambulance service do to speed up response times will only result in even longer queues at the checkout...so without more tills we're stuffed.
As a retired paramedic with near 30 years service I have some insight into this problem... whatever the ambulance service do to speed up response times will only result in even longer queues at the checkout...so without more tills we're stuffed. Primus622
  • Score: 0
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