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Targets missed again

PUBLISHED: 19:00 22 March 2002 | UPDATED: 11:36 03 March 2010

EAST Anglian ambulance crews are set to miss hitting the national response time target for a second year – but only by a whisker this time.

Responses to life threatening calls within eight minutes are running at more than 73 per cent this month, but that is still not good enough to meet the Government's target of 75pc by April 1.

EAST Anglian ambulance crews are set to miss hitting the national response time target for a second year – but only by a whisker this time.

Responses to life threatening calls within eight minutes are running at more than 73 per cent this month, but that is still not good enough to meet the Government's target of 75pc by April 1.

Most other UK ambulance services had to achieve that by April 2001.

East Anglian Ambulance Trust chief executive Dr Chris Carney said at yesterday's board meeting in Norwich: "A huge amount of effort has been going on this year to modernise the service, and in February we were just under the target by a slither – at 70pc."

He said the new computer system introduced this year was now being used 'positively and aggressively' by staff intent on improving the service's performance.

He added: "Things are moving forward very well and variations in response times are less noticeable. Our performance is beginning to approach where we want it to be."

He said attempts to improve the flow of patients through the new Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital had helped, and new community paramedics had not yet started their roles.

Director of operations Paul Sutton said so far in March, crew had got to more than 73pc of life threatening calls within eight minutes.

He said staff from successful Suffolk and Norfolk would be used to help explain the changes that need to be made to colleagues in Cambridgeshire.

Chairman Andrew Egerton-Smith said: "There has been a remarkable turnaround when you consider Suffolk used to have the worst performance two years ago. Now it has the best performance and that's an amazing change."

Dr Carney said the service now received less complaints about slow response times, and complaints were dealt with on time.

Letters of praise from patients are also increasing, to the rate of about 50 a month.


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