Se­ri­ous in­ci­dents on rise in 999 ser­vices

Am­bu­lance ser­vice data from last year

Hinckley Times - - NEWS - ALICE CACHIA hinck­ley­times@reach­plc.com

A PA­TIENT fall­ing from a trol­ley or wheel­chair, con­fi­den­tial­ity be­ing breached, and de­layed re­sponses are just some of the se­ri­ous in­ci­dents in­volv­ing the am­bu­lance ser­vice last year.

Ex­clu­sive data re­veals there were 40 “se­ri­ous in­ci­dents” in­volv­ing the East Mid­lands am­bu­lance ser­vice that oc­curred in 2017/18.

A “se­ri­ous in­ci­dent” is de­fined as one in which the con­se­quences to a pa­tient or the “po­ten­tial for learn­ing” are so sig­nif­i­cant as to war­rant a com­pre­hen­sive re­sponse.

One case in­volved a pa­tient fall­ing from a trol­ley or chair while in the care of the ambu- lance ser­vice.

An­other in­ci­dent was recorded as a “con­fi­den­tial­ity breach”, although no fur­ther de­tails are given.

Some 15 in­ci­dents were classed as “se­ri­ous” be­cause the am­bu­lance was de­layed in ar­riv­ing to the scene.

Oth­ers in­cluded in­cor­rect call cod­ing, is­sues with safe­guard­ing pa­tients, call han­dling, and care man­age­ment.

One pa­tient re­ceived an “in­ap­pro­pri­ate as­sess­ment” from am­bu­lance staff - although the data does not iden­tify what the con­se­quences were.

The num­ber of se­ri­ous in­ci­dents has ac­tu­ally fallen in the East Mid­lands.

It stood at just 45 in 2015/16 and 44 in 2016/17, ac­cord­ing to data from to a Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion re­quest to the East Mid­lands am­bu­lance ser­vice.

Paul Ben­ton, deputy di­rec­tor of the East Mid­lands am­bu­lance ser­vice, said: “Pa­tient safety is al­ways our pri­or­ity. The to­tal num­ber of emer­gency and ur­gent calls we re­ceive has risen by al­most 10 per cent

from 2015/16 to 2017/18 while the num­ber of se­ri­ous in­ci­dents has fallen but we are, of course, al­ways work­ing to learn lessons from all in­ci­dents.

“Most in­ci­dents dur­ing 2017/18 re­lated to de­layed re­sponses. Ear­lier this year we an­nounced a £9m in­vest­ment which will fund ex­tra staff, ve­hi­cles and other re­sources to help us re­spond more quickly and more con­sis­tently to our pa­tients. More than 200 new col­leagues are join­ing our ser­vice this month to be­gin their front­line train­ing.”

An NHS Im­prove­ment spokesper­son said: “Pa­tient safety is a pri­or­ity for the NHS, so we ex­pect am­bu­lance ser­vices to do ev­ery­thing they can to pre­vent se­ri­ous in­ci­dents from oc­cur­ring.

“We have in­tro­duced the Am­bu­lance Re­sponse Pro­gramme to im­prove clin­i­cal out­comes for pa­tients, par­tic­u­larly those with life threat­en­ing ill­ness and in­jury. This pro­gramme en­ables am­bu­lance ser­vices to pri­ori­tise the sick­est pa­tients, so they re­ceive the fastest re­sponse whilst main­tain­ing a clear fo­cus on the needs of all pa­tients di­alling 999.”

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