Demand like the weather; changeable

Tuesday 22nd April 2014 – 12.10pm – Murray MacGregor.

Demand on the ambulance service in the West Midlands over the Easter weekend was almost as changeable as the weather conditions.

Localised increases of demand that ranged from almost 12% up on last year (Staffordshire) to drops of over 12% in other areas (West Mercia) ensured crews had a busy weekend.

Over the four days of the Easter weekend (Good Friday – Easter Monday), demand across the West Midlands was up by 1.7% compared to last year (2013). Over the four days, the Trust answered 10,821 999 calls.

However, what was noticeable was the unpredictability of the demand. A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “We put a huge amount of planning into ensuring that we had the right number of resources on at the right times.

“In the main, we got it about right, but the swings in demand were really quite severe and were different across the area. The days with biggest variation compared to last year were:

Birmingham:
High on Monday (+7.3%), low on Saturday (-4.6%)

Black Country:
High on Saturday (+2.6%), low on Monday (-8.2%)

Coventry & Warwickshire:
High on Sunday (+8.6%), low on Saturday (-2.3%)

Staffordshire:
High on Friday (+11.6%), low on Saturday (+6.3%)

West Mercia:
High on Monday (+11.5%), low on Saturday (-12.5%)

The spokesman added: “We ensured we had additional staff working to meet the predicted demand. While many people were enjoying the four day break, our staff were working hard to ensure patients that needed our help got the highest standards of clinical care in often difficult situations.

“Having such swings in the demand does make it difficult for our crews, but once again, they pulled out all of the stops to make sure patients got a good level of service, even when it got really busy.”

Ends

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Written by officialwmas

West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) covers a geographical area of approximately 5,000 square miles and serves a population of 5.6 million people living in Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Coventry & Warwickshire, Staffordshire and the Birmingham & the Black Country conurbation. The Trust has a total number of 4000 members of staff and uses 864 vehicles.

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