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West Norfolk ambulance response times unacceptable

PUBLISHED: 11:42 01 August 2014 | UPDATED: 11:42 01 August 2014

Ambulance response times in West Norfolk significantly less than East England average. Photo: Steve Adams.

Ambulance response times in West Norfolk significantly less than East England average. Photo: Steve Adams.

Ambulance response times for life threatening calls in West Norfolk are significantly less than the overall average of East England.

Numbers revealed at the first AGM of the West Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group showed 63pc arrived within the target time of eight minutes, compared to an overall average of over 70pc in the whole of the East.

The figure is still better than that of North Norfolk which is at 41.89pc.

These figures fail to match national ambulance targets of 75pc arriving.

Watlington GP Dr Ian Mack, chairman off the CCG said: “This year we have contained with a significant number of challenges to deal with highly complex issues.

“The current response times to life threatening calls are far below acceptable. The proportion of admitted patients treated within 18 weeks of a referral are also unacceptable.

“We are working with the Urgent Care Board, Queen Elizabeth Hospitals and NHS England to make sure that any problematic areas are dealt with in an effective manner.”

Dr Anthony Marsh, Chief Executive for East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said: “We are aware that our response times are not what they should be and that is why we are working hard to improve our response times.

One of the issues is that we simply do not have enough resources to cope with the increasing demand, and to help change this we’re recruiting 400 student paramedics and putting new ambulances out on the roads. Our staff are currently working extremely hard to deal with a high number of 999 calls and to provide patient’s with the best possible care.”

147 new ambulances have already been put across the region since the start of the year.

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