999 reponse times ‘disgrace’

East Midlands Ambulance Service
East Midlands Ambulance Service

East Midlands Ambulance service has come under fire after response times in LN8 and LN7 deteriorated further, missing government targets by a wide margin.

The latest figures show that between January and July 2016 only 27.2 per cent of calls graded ‘immediately life threatening’ by EMAS were responded to within eight minutes - the targetfor this is 75 per cent.

East Midlands Ambulance Service news. ENGEMN00120130719131948

East Midlands Ambulance Service news. ENGEMN00120130719131948

This is a fall from 36.6 per cent from July to December 2015.

Former Market Rasen town councillor Guy Grainger has branded the ambulance service a ‘disgrace’ that is ‘failing’ patients.

And he is calling for EMAS to be taken into special measures.

Mr Grainger said: “The numbers represent actual patients that EMAS is failing.

“It is time that EMAS was taken into special measures with a view to re-establishing a Lincolnshire Ambulance Service.

“This emergency service is a disgrace.

“There has been a widespread service failure across much of rural Lincolnshire for years.

“Repeated calls for improvement and investigation have been resisted by the Department of Health - who set the ambulance response targets and now appear to allow them to be ignored.”

EMAS has admitted it has ‘big challenges’ to face and says as demand for ambulances is growing it is becoming difficult to get to patients quickly.

East Midlands Ambulance Service general manager for Lincolnshire, Blanche Lentz said: “Our aim is always to get to life threatening patients as quickly as possible but as demand across the NHS continues to grow this is becoming more of a challenge.

“We are responding to more patients than ever before, and there are a number of external pressures affecting our service such as hospital handovers delays.

“As part of the 16/17 contract, and following on from our CQC inspection, an independent capacity and demand review is ongoing.

“This will look at demands in different areas and the level of staff, vehicles and infrastructure needed, along with finance, to respond to those demands.

“We will work with our commissioners when the review has concluded to see how it influences future resourcing.

“We still have big challenges to face but have strong plans in place with our local hospitals, regulators and commissioners to address them.

“Despite these challenges our staff continue to do a fantastic job in helping our patients and I am proud of their dedication to patient care.”