Thursday 30th April 2015 – 6.00am – Murray MacGregor.
New figures show that West Midlands Ambulance Service is the highest performing ambulance trust in the country.
Provisional figures show that WMAS came top, out of the ten Trusts, in two of the four target categories, was second in a third category and narrowly came third in the fourth.
The Trust had the highest performance in the country for the most serious calls, Red 1, which includes cases such as cardiac arrests where it achieved over 77% against a target of 75%
Clearly, if we are to get to the most important calls quickly, answering 999 calls in a timely manner is vital. The Trust came top in this category answering over 97% of calls within five seconds; our average call answering time is less than one second.
In the category for getting an ambulance to the most serious calls (A19), the Trust achieved a score of almost 97% against a target of 95%. We came second by less than one percentage point.
For Red 2 calls, the Trust narrowly missed the target of achieving 75% with a score of over 74%. No Trusts achieved the 75% mark.
WMAS Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “There is no doubt that 2014-15 was an incredibly challenging year for all ambulance services, with rapidly rising demand and continued delays at hospital which have a hugely adverse impact on our ability to get to patients.
“Despite that, the fact that we have done so well is testament to the incredibly hard working staff of the Trust.
“However, getting to patients quickly is only part of the story. The level of clinical care that our staff have given to the patients they have treated is second to none. In many respects this is far more important than speed of response.
“Whilst this is an excellent level of performance, we are in no way complacent and are the first to admit that we can make further changes to the service we deliver.
“We are continuing to move forward with developments that will improve still further the way we treat and support patients.
“This includes increasing the number of paramedics we have and taking more patients to alternative care settings other than A&E. Currently, only around 55% of those patients we go out to end up going to hospital and that number is continuing to fall.
“There is little doubt that 2015-16 will be even tougher than the last 12 months, so we will be doing everything possible to ensure we protect patient care.”
Category Target WMAS National Position
Red 1 75% 77% 1st
Red 2 75% 74% 3rd
A19 95% 96% 2nd
5” Call Answering 95% 96% 1st