Ambulance crews hit targets

DESPITE a surge in emergency calls and being the second busiest month on record East Anglian Ambulance crews have hit their targets.Last month, responding to thousands more calls than normal, the service reached 76 per cent of 999 calls to patients suffering life-threatening conditions within the eight minute target time.

DESPITE a surge in emergency calls and being the second busiest month on record East Anglian Ambulance crews have hit their targets.

Last month, responding to thousands more calls than normal, the service reached 76 per cent of 999 calls to patients suffering life-threatening conditions within the eight minute target time.

During December there was a 12pc increase in calls compared to the same time the year before.

Crews responded to 13,432 emergency calls compared with 11,993 in December 2002 and 10,692 in December 2001.

Paul Sutton, director of operations, said December was traditionally a very busy month and staff on the road and in control had coped extremely well with the increased demand.

He said: "In December two years ago we were only reaching 53 per cent of life-threatening calls within eight minutes, so the improvement has been quite dramatic.

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"It's important to remember that the speed with which we reach patients can in some cases have a direct bearing on whether that patient lives or dies, so it's having a big impact on the lives of people in East Anglia.

"As in other parts of the NHS, our staff were working extra hard in December while others were enjoying the holiday, so we can't praise them highly enough."

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