Saving more lives

Date: 29 November 2016

Ambulance patients are getting a faster response and more lives are being saved, according to new Government figures.

The National Ambulance Quality Indicators for September and clinical indicators for June, released earlier this month, show that:

  • the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust’s (EEAST) performance against national targets has improved for the sixth consecutive month
  • it is getting to the most seriously ill patients (red calls) quicker
  • staff and volunteers are saving more lives through providing life support.

Chief Executive Robert Morton said: “I am delighted with this latest set of data which confirms the significant progress we have made, despite the huge increases in demand on our service and the capacity challenges we face. This is a testament to our staff and volunteers and the outstanding care they give to patients.”

Over the last seven months, EEAST has improved its average response time to the sickest patients by more than two-and-a-half minutes and has been amongst the best performing ambulance services for Red 1 calls (patients in cardiac arrest or about to go in cardiac arrest) in the country.

These figures also measure clinical outcomes. One of the indicators is the proportion of patients who are successfully resuscitated by the time they arrive at hospital; EEAST recorded its highest ever outcome on this measure in June.

At the same time, figures for October from EEAST show that 999 calls continue to rise. More people are more seriously ill, with 999 calls about cardiac arrest, stroke and other potentially life-threatening injuries going up from 32,903 in August to 36,036 in October. Indeed overall EEAST saw a 12% increase, equivalent to around 10,000 calls, in the total number of calls it received in October 2016 compared to October 2015.

Kevin Brown, Director of Service Delivery, said: “Despite the significant increasing pressure on us, we have maintained our improvement in responses to patients. We need the capacity to see those people who need us the most, which will improve a patient’s chances of surviving a life-threatening incident. This can be improved further with early resuscitation and defibrillation, so we urge bystanders to start cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) where someone is unconscious and not breathing. Our call handlers will give instructions whilst the ambulance is on its way and you could be the person who helps save a life.

“Sadly some people use 999 as a first rather than last resort. We are here for emergency and urgent care and not as an alternative to other community healthcare service, self-care or self-help. Please take the time to learn the alternatives for health advice and care, such as your local pharmacist, GP, walk in and urgent care centres and the non-emergency health 111 number. Your help can make all the difference to the responses we can make and the lives we can save.”

  • Summary:

    Ambulance patients are getting a faster response and more lives are being saved, according to new Government figures.