Town hall chiefs want am­bu­lance wait time ac­tion

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - KAREN BRIT­TON

COUN­CIL bosses have called for an over­haul of am­bu­lance ser­vices af­ter it was re­vealed emer­gency patients in Cheshire East face some of the long­est wait­ing times.

A report shows that am­bu­lances are not get­ting to emer­gency patients in Cheshire East quickly enough. North West Am­bu­lance Ser­vice (NWAS) is fail­ing to meet govern­ment tar­gets which re­quire am­bu­lances to get to at least 75 per cent of ‘Red 1’ calls – those with the most life-threat­en­ing ill­nesses – in eight min­utes.

Cheshire East is the third-worst area in the North West, well be­low ur­ban ar­eas of Manch­ester and Liver­pool.

The trust has failed to hit the tar­get in most months since April 2014, with the per­cent­age of patients reached within eight min­utes dip­ping as low as 40pc in De­cem­ber 2014.

Coun­cil­lors on Cheshire East’s Health and Adult So­cial Care Over­view and Scru­tiny Com­mit­tee have been mon­i­tor­ing the per­for­mance and de­cided to carry out a re­view when they saw Cheshire East was be­ing left be­hind other parts of the North West.

Now the com­mit­tee has is­sued 19 rec­om­men­da­tions to the Depart­ment of Health and NHS Eng­land.

Coun Jos Saunders, chair­man of the com­mit­tee and coun­cil­lor for Poyn­ton East and Pott Shrigley, said peo­ple in ru­ral ar­eas de­serve equal ac­cess to emer­gency ser­vices.

Coun Hilda Gad­dum, who rep­re­sents Sut­ton, said: “The am­bu­lance ser­vice cov­ers a huge area and you can feel for­got­ten on the perime­ter in a place like Sut­ton. I’m con­cerned there are not enough am­bu­lances for the large ru­ral ar­eas.”

The report asks The Depart­ment of Health and NHS Eng­land to over­haul how am­bu­lance trusts are mon­i­tored.

Coun Laura Jeuda, a health com­mit­tee mem­ber who rep­re­sents Mac­cles­field South, said: “I don’t like tar­gets, the time has come to re-ex­am­ine how we mon­i­tor am­bu­lances. We should be look­ing at how many lives are be­ing saved.”

MP David Rut­ley said: “I’m pleased the coun­cil has high­lighted this im­por­tant is­sue and is work­ing with North West Am­bu­lance Ser­vice to see much needed im­prove­ments. I think it’s vi­tally im­por­tant that steps are taken to im­prove re­sponse times in im­por­tant emer­gen­cies.”

A spokesman for NWAS said: “Over the past year the Trust has seen a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in the num­ber of Red (lifethreat­en­ing) calls over the last year (33pc com­pared to 2014/15), which presently shows no signs of slow­ing down. Meet­ing na­tional per­for­mance times in ru­ral ar­eas is al­ways a chal­lenge due to the dis­tances our re­sources have to travel and so we are con­stantly re­view­ing our per­for­mance and de­vel­op­ing new mod­els of work­ing to im­prove our ca­pac­ity to re­spond that will pro­vide qual­i­ta­tive care in lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties. One of these is the in­crease in our ‘hear and treat’ and ‘see and treat’ ini­tia­tives which en­ables patients who don’t nec­es­sar­ily re­quire an emer­gency am­bu­lance or hospi­tal ad­mis­sion to re­ceive the treat­ment or ad­vice they need safely within their own home.

“Ad­di­tion­ally, we have also in­tro­duced com­mu­nity spe­cial­ist paramedics, paramedics who are based in the lo­cal com­mu­nity (of­ten in GP sur- gery lo­ca­tions) where they can bring real ben­e­fits to the lo­cal pop­u­la­tion. This is a rel­a­tively new ini­tia­tive but is al­ready well es­tab­lished and prov­ing suc­cess­ful with two paramedics cur­rently work­ing within East Cheshire.

“We worked in part­ner­ship and ac­tively en­gaged with Cheshire East Coun­cil in help­ing them com­pile this report that shows a com­pre­hen­sive re­view of am­bu­lance ser­vices.

“Our staff pro­vided in­for­ma­tion and un­der­took dis­cus­sions to out­line some of the cur­rent is­sues and we are very pleased that the coun­cil is tak­ing such a proac­tive ap­proach.

“We con­tinue to look for­ward to work­ing to­gether with them, the lo­cal health econ­omy, our emer­gency part­ners and stake­hold­ers to im­prove ser­vices for our patients in East Cheshire.”

●● Po­lice found this knife be­tween a man’s but­tocks

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.