When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
East Lancashire ambulance response times ‘putting lives at risk’
AN EAST Lancashire MP has slammed ‘unacceptable’ ambulance response times in a protest to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.
New figures show between April and July this year, the North West Ambulance Service only hit the target response time of eight minutes in one in five call-outs in West Craven.
This is 20 per cent compared to the national benchmark of 75 per cent.
In calls considered serious, but not life-threatening, they responded to 54 per cent of call outs within the standard eight minutes.
It comes after figures for East Lancashire, between June 2012 and March this year, showed many patients were left waiting more than 14 minutes. Detailed figures for the county have not been made available.
Crews are expected to respond to 75 per cent of Red 1 calls within eight minutes, but NWAS only met this target in 73.5 per cent of cases.
Red 1 calls cover cardiac arrest patients who are not breathing and do not have a pulse, plus other severe conditions.
Pendle councillors said lives were being put at risk and have asked their MP Andrew Stephenson to step in to help.
Mr Stephenson said: “There is no doubt that they [the ambulance service] are incredibly hard working and highly professional.
“However, when you need an ambulance, minutes matter.
“The situation in West Craven is not acceptable and I have already raised it with the Secretary of State for Health and with the service itself.”
Between October 2012 and April 2013 life-threatening and serious calls were classed together as ‘high priority’, and of 336 calls in West Craven only 49 per cent saw an ambulance arrive within eight minutes.
Coun David Whipp, chair of the West Craven Area Committee, said he, the council leader and chief executive, had recently met with ambulance bosses about response times.
Craven area councillor Ken Hartley said: “Lives are being put at risk by these response times. They talk about the ‘golden hour’ of treatment for heart attack victims.
“If you have a heart attack in Barnoldswick or Earby it will take at least 30 minutes to be transferred to hospital, so if you are waiting 20 minutes for an ambulance then that golden hour is disappearing.”
A NWAS spokesman said: “The ambulance service is commissioned by the Clinical Commissioning Group to meet the Government target of 75 per cent for category A life-threatening calls for the region as a whole and not by postcode, primary care trust, county or borough.”
Comments are closed on this article.