Winter pressures - rolling updates

Date: 10 January 2018

Time: 13:00

As the Trust has now returned to REAP level 3, this feed will no longer be updated.

January 10th, 2018

Yesterday (Tuesday. 9th January) the Trust received just under 3,200 calls.

The Trust has now reduced to REAP level 3 - severe pressure - following 10 days of escalation to REAP level 4 extreme pressure.

The Trust moved to REAP 4 - the highest level of escalation – on 31st December. On Tuesday 9th January, the Trust reviewed this and in light of some lessening of pressure in the past few days reduced to REAP level 3, which is the second highest level of escalation.

Kevin Brown, Director of Service Delivery, said: “We would to thank our staff and volunteers for their hard work over what has been a very challenging period, and also thank the public and partners for their support during the extremely busy period we've just experienced.

"The reduction from extreme to severe should not detract from the severity of the operational pressure and previously, the Trust operated for a considerable period at REAP 3, which is reflective of the significant capacity gap that exists.”


January 9th, 2018

Yesterday (Monday, 8th January) the Trust received about 3,400 calls.


January 8th, 2018

Yesterday (Sunday, 7th January) The Trust received just over 3,200 calls.

On Saturday, 6th January, The Trust received just over 3,300 calls.


January 6th, 2018

Yesterday (5th January) the Trust received nearly 3,400 calls.


January 5th, 2018

Yesterday (4th January) the Trust received just under 3,500 calls.

Sandy Brown, Deputy Chief Executive at EEAST, said: "Despite the reduction in calls, staff across the Trust have continued to work extremely hard in these challenging circumstances and we thank them for their continued commitment to the community.

"We would like to thank the public for choosing wisely, which is resulting in fewer calls and freeing up more ambulances to see those patients who are very unwell.

"It is forecast this weekend that the temperature will drop again, so we do expect to see an increase in calls and we have additional resources prepared. However, everyone can play their part and we are calling on the public to do things like check in on vulnerable members of the community, make sure you have sufficient over-the-counter and prescribed medicines, and most importantly, if you feel you need the NHS service, choose wisely and if you need to go to hospital, if possible, make your own way there."

Additional welfare and support is also being provided for ambulance staff.

Additional lines today:

Clacton death statement in response to GMB press release: 5th January 2018

Sandy Brown, Deputy Chief Executive at EEAST said: “Our sincere condolences and apologies go out to the patient’s family and friends and we are truly sorry for the ambulance wait that occurred at this incident.
“We have very publicly expressed how stretched the ambulance service is and the pressures our staff and the NHS as a whole have been under the past few days. As a Trust, we have experienced our busiest days ever and we know our partners in the hospitals are in the same situation. 
“We are working in partnership but we are facing hospital handover delays, which can prevent us from responding as quickly as we need to.
“Regarding this incident, we received a call just before 8pm on 2nd January to a report of a woman with chest pain in Clacton. Due to extremely high demand on the service and delays at accident and emergency units, we were not able to immediately dispatch an ambulance. We had more than 4,200 calls across the East of England that day, more than 1,300 of which were in Essex and more than 250 were in North East Essex.
“A clinician in one of our control rooms made a welfare call and spoke to the patient at 9.47pm and an ambulance crew arrived at the address at 11.46pm. The patient was found unconscious and not breathing and sadly died at the scene.
“This incident is being investigated by the Trust and we will report back our findings in due course.”


January 4th, 2018

Yesterday (3rd January) the Trust received just under 3,900 calls.

A small reduction in calls has therefore been seen and the Trust would like to thank the public for choosing wisely.

Demand continues still continues to be extremely high - the Trust usually sees about 3,000 calls a day.

Additional lines today:

What is the Trust doing about hospital handovers taking a long time?

Matt Broad, Deputy Director of Service Delivery, said: “Across the region, Hospital Ambulance Liaison Officers (HALOs) work in A&E departments to manage the flow of Ambulance patients arriving at the department.

“Our HALO’s assist the hospital A&E teams and our ambulance crews to handover the sickest patients as a priority. HALO’s are working in collaboration with A&E staff to assist with the smooth running of hospital handovers during busy periods.

“The Trust, as well as the wider NHS, is still experiencing incredibly high demand and is under extreme pressure. We are urging the public to choose wisely when it comes to selecting which NHS service they need and to only call for an ambulance if it is a life-threatening emergency.”



January 3rd, 2018

Yesterday (2nd January) the Trust received about 4,200 999 calls.

Demand continues to be high and the emergency ambulance service is under extreme pressure.

Additional lines today:

Taxis - The Trust has used taxis to transport patients to hospital during this period of extremely high demand. 

During the four-day period between 30th December and 2nd January,  EEAST used a total of 18 taxis across the region to transport patients to hospital.
These were patients that did not require specialist care or equipment to support them in their journey to hospital.
County breakdown:
Suffolk - 7
Norfolk - 5
Essex - 2
Herts - 2
Cambs - 1
Beds - 1

Use of private ambulances -  We are using private ambulance services to help increase our ambulance cover. We only utilise CQC accredited private ambulance services, who have also gone through our own Trust accreditation and we have maximised all available resources from these providers currently.

Mutual aid - We have not asked for any mutual aid from any neighbouring ambulance trusts, as all ambulance services are in a similar position regarding delayed handovers at A&E and increases in demand. 

January 2nd, 2018

On 31st December we received more than 4,100 calls across the region and more than 4,800 calls on 1st January - a 12 per cent increase on 1st January 2017. To put this into content, the Trust's average daily volume of calls is about 3,000 calls a day.

Additional lines today:

Hospital handovers - In the last four days, we have experienced nearly 500 hospital handovers that exceed one hour or more.


December 31st, 2017

We went into REAP level 4 on 31st December as a result of extreme pressure and very high demand on the service.

  • Summary:

    The Trust is experiencing extreme winter pressure - here is a rolling feed of our latest news updates.