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8 January 2013
The £50m savings the Trust is seeking over the next five years does not hold much hope of ensuring the adequate levels of front line staff and equipment can be provided says GMB
The East of England Ambulance Service Trust and the East Midland Ambulance Service Trust were two of the three ambulance services in England that did not meet the target that 95% of Category A calls should be responded within 19 minutes in the 12 months to end October 2012. A category A call is for an immediately life threatening emergency such as chest pain, breathing difficulties or cardiac arrest.
Both Ambulance Services are embarking on changes which GMB, the union for ambulance staffs, say will impact badly on services to residents.
In the year to end October 2012 a total of 216,610 Category A calls were responded to within 19 minutes at the East of England Ambulance Service Trust which is 94.4 % of the total Category A Calls. In the same period 204,245 Category A calls were responded to within 19 minutes at the East Midlands Ambulance Service Trust which is 93.3 % of the total Category A Calls.
The response rate within 19 minutes for Category A calls for England for all Ambulance Services for that period was 96.5%.
In the single month of October 2012 the response rate within 19 minutes at East of England Ambulance Service for Category A calls was 93.3%. See figures for October in notes to editors below.
The Department of Health's primary target is that a minimum of 75% per cent of category A calls (defined as "immediately life-threatening") should receive an emergency response at the scene of the incident within eight minutes. A second target of the Department of Health is that a minimum of 95% of category A calls (defined as "immediately life-threatening") that require transport should be met within 19 minutes of the request being made for a vehicle capable of transporting the patient. The figures for all twelve Ambulance Services in England for 12 months to October 2012 are set out in the table below.
Ambulance Quality Indicators: System Indicators, Ambulance trusts in England: Source: Department of Health 12 month total - November 2011-October 2012
Tony Hughes, GMB organiser for ambulance staff, said"GMB is disappointed that EEAS are still not meeting these most important targets as these calls are on the whole for people who are suffering life threatening conditions. Clearly there are failures within the Trusts that need some serious attention.
The £50m savings over the next five years does not hold much hope of ensuring the adequate levels of front line staff and equipment can be provided. The residents of East of England deserve an Ambulance trust which will meet their needs not one the Government would rather see starved of public funds.
When Cameron and Clegg talk about creating jobs in the private sector these should be in addition to the public sector jobs not as a replacement for them. “