‘We are getting better’ say EMAS

EMAS says its response times are improving
EMAS says its response times are improving

“We are getting there.” That is the reassuring message from East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) as it battles to attain national targets.

Official figures for the last 12 months show EMAS reached just over 70 per cent of emergency ‘Red 1’ calls within the permitted time of eight minutes.

That actual figure was 571.26 per cent and that rose to 71.46 per cent for ‘Red 2’ calls with the response time is also eight minutes.

However, EMAS points out that unofficial figures for last month showed they had “hit all their performance targets” with a 76.13% return for Red I calls and 76.97% for Red 2.

An EMAS spokesman said: “We are working towards better performance and providing better patient care under our quality improvement plan.

“The 2013-14 performance figures have been validated and they reflect a very difficult time for EMAS.

“Although we have not met national targets, we are confident that under our quality improvement plan, things are getting better.

“We had a really successful month in April and hit all our performance targets, highlighting the improvements the trust are making.”

EMAS has come under fire locally from a number of incidents with patients claiming they have had to wait too long for an ambulance.

There are particular concerns from people living in rural areas, like the Wolds.

There, LIVES personnel are often the first to respond to emergency calls.

EMAS stress they are determined to improve on all aspects of their performance, via their improvement programme - ‘Better Patient Care.’

EMAS says it recently met with the NHS Trust Development Authority, which monitors performance levels and patient care, and was praised for improving standards.