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Wednesday 26th October 2016

Ambulance trusts fail target

28th February 2007

Ambulance service reforms have worsened performance according to new figures which show only half of England's ambulance trusts are hitting response time targets.

The figures from the Ambulance Service Association show that six of the newly merged 12 trusts fail to reach 75 per cent of Category A calls within the target eight minutes.

And even within trusts who met the target, concentrated areas of high performance masked other parts of their patch where response times were substantially slower.

Before the mergers last July, almost three-quarters of the 31 trusts reached the standard and the government had planned to tighten the target by starting the eight minutes from the moment a call was made. Currently the eight minutes starts once all the caller’s details have been taken.

The new target will now come into force in 2008.

The ASA has blamed the restructuring for the worsening figures, but says there has also been an increase in demand coupled with inadequate commissioning from primary care trusts.

The association says PCTS had prioritised hitting the 18-week target and achieving financial balance above that of ambulance response times.

Some of the trusts hope to improve their performance by the start of the next financial year.

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