Emergency calls carry on rising

RELENTLESS rises in 999 calls are continuing, but ambulance crews are still responding fast enough.The national standard means East Anglian Ambulance Trust must get to 75 per cent of life-threatening calls in eight minutes – and figures released today show that crew have consistently achieved that since April.

By Tracey Sparling

RELENTLESS rises in 999 calls are continuing, but ambulance crews are still responding fast enough.

The national standard means East Anglian Ambulance Trust must get to 75 per cent of life-threatening calls in eight minutes – and figures released today show that crew have consistently achieved that since April.

Suffolk crews achieved 76pc.


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There were ten per cent more 999 calls during June, than the same time last year, and calls were 32 per cent up from 1999.

The Trust dealt with 11,350 emergency calls in June, compared with 8,579 four years ago.

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Rob Mason, assistant director of operations, said the increase in calls was mirrored by other ambulance services.

"There's no one single cause and it's very difficult to pin the reason down," he added.

"There's certainly an increased awareness of the ambulance service and the progress we've made, so we could be a victim of our own success.

"Also, dialling 999 is the quickest guaranteed method of accessing the healthcare system, so we are always liable to be the fall back if there are problems or delays elsewhere in the system.

"What we have to look to do is assess the calls as they come in and then try to make sure that each patient receives the appropriate care.

"But what this increase does continue to highlight is the sterling efforts of our crews and control staff in dealing with ever more emergency calls and patients."

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