Partnership yet to improve ambulance turnaround times at N&N

06:30 20 March 2013

Ambulances at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on a busy evening.

Ambulances at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on a busy evening. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Archant Norfolk

A partnership to resolve ambulance turnaround delays at Norfolk’s main hospital has yet to produce significant results, health chiefs said yesterday.

Members of the new Norwich Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said they would be reviewing the impact of Project Domino following its launch at the end of last year.

A meeting at City Hall in Norwich yesterday heard that the initiative, which involves all health and social care services in central Norfolk, had not resolved the pressure problems in the system.

James Elliott, director of operations at Norwich CCG, said the project had been delivering at the start of the winter. However, a recent “major surge in demand had destabilised the system substantially.”

He added: “The system is in a state of stress at the moment.” Project Domino aims to improve community services, discharge procedures, capacity at A&E and ambulance service capacity. Capacity issues were highlighted earlier this month when 17 ambulances were queued up at the front door of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on the evening of March 6.

However, commissioners at Norwich CCG said Project Domino would take time before it could deliver big changes. Jonathon Fagge, chief executive officer, said: “We have a next phase from now to the beginning of next winter which will have significant investment such as remodelling A&E and investment in clinical teams.”

A minimum of 80pc of patients are supposed to be handed over from ambulance to A&E within 15 minutes at the N&N. However, that figure was 50.5pc in November, 54.4pc in December, and 48.4pc in January, according to a report to the Norwich CCG.

Chris Price, who will be the chairman of the CCG from April 1, said that part of the problem was recruiting more front-line staff in A&E and at the East of England Ambulance Service.

“Whilst it is right that the system comes under scrutiny and people ask serious questions, if we are to attract people to come and work in Norfolk it is really important to get the positive message out there that it is getting better and there are plans to improve,” he said.


  • How many new homes built and how many hospital beds created since the NNUH opened? The answer to those questions could well explain the problem.

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    jennifer jane

    Wednesday, March 20, 2013

  • I now live in France and the health service here is rated No1 in the world. My father who is 90 this year has received excellent care here. Whilst in the UK the NHS let my family down on many occassions. The NHS would do well to copy the French model if it is serious about improving

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    Wednesday, March 20, 2013

  • All the local hospitals are full to bursting point, its nothing to with the number of staff in A+E or the number of ambulances. We either get more acute beds or better care in the community.

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    Wednesday, March 20, 2013

  • The NHS is overwhelmed by the sheer weight of numbers of patients . People live longer , a lot longer in fact . And there aren`t the family networks to look after people in their own homes . Things can only get worse . Never mind ... Norman Lamb is wringing his hands , perhaps one day he`ll actually find a bit of backbone , and do something about it .

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    Wednesday, March 20, 2013

  • I doubt its anything to do with under-staffing of A&E at the N&NUH. More likely a spreadsheet not adding up. Need to hire a few more beancounters, that's what they're best at.

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    Police Commissioner ???

    Thursday, March 21, 2013

  • It's probably stating the obvious but it's most likely a complex combination of a lot of factors - the solution is knowing which to address first to start making improvements. But normally throwing money at it will help in the short term. Recruitment and training of more staff will not be quick. I would try asking the staff along the entire chain for their views and then try and make sense of the answers. They might not have the solution but they will more than likely be able to explain how the service got into this mess.

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    Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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