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Ambulance service fails to hit its response target
THE SOUTH West Ambulance Service has failed to achieve its emergency call out response targets, according to a new report.
In October, the service which covers Swindon, achieved the eight-minute response time for 71.68 per cent of the most urgent calls, just missing the target of 75 per cent.
The most urgent calls, or ‘red 1 calls’ as they are referred to, include cardiac arrest or life threatening tramuatic injuries. Also causing real concern, according to the report to the board, are sickness levels across the trust which are higher than planned, and appraisal rates which are lower than expected for this time in the year.
A Trust spokesperson said: “The data for ambulance services nationally shows that the targets for red 1 and red 2 calls were narrowly missed during the month of October.
“South Western Ambulance Service was one of the organisations who unfortunately did not meet the required 75 per cent on this occasion. “Like all ambulance trusts around the country, the service is facing an ongoing increase in demand for its services meaning more calls to respond to and increasing numbers of patients requiring care.
“An additional challenge for the south west region is that it is predominantly rural, with many isolated communities. This area of the country also has the highest percentage of elderly people who are more likely to access our services, especially in the run up to and during winter.
“The Trust would like to make an assurance that the provision of high quality emergency and urgent care services remains our top priority.” Despite the failures, the report did state several areas of the service that are performing well and causing no concern, including the number of stroke patients receiving the appropriate care bundle and the outcome from cardiac arrest, survivial to discharge rates are both above the local thresholds.
South Western Ambulance Service provides emergency and urgent care, across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire and the former Avon area (Bristol, Bath, North Somerset, South Glos).
The trust employs 4,000 staff across 120 sites – including 96 ambulance stations, six air bases and five emergency operations centres as well as its headquarters in Exeter. It covers almost 10,000 square miles and serves a population of over 5.3m people, with an estimated annual influx of more than 17.5m tourists.
The enlarged SWASFT began life on February 1 this year, following its acquisition of Great Western Ambulance Service (GWAS).
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