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Monday 24th June 2019

Ambulance trusts want changes

28th October 2011

Ambulance Trusts in England are seeking changes to the target system that covers them.


They are lobbying the Department of Health, which has said it is considering changes.

A briefing document from the East of England Ambulance Service said the current system introduces “perverse incentives” to meet targets and highlights how a dependency on a large number of rapid response vehicles has led to delays.

Under the current Call Connect system – which has been in place since 2008 - ambulance response times are measured from as soon as a call is put through to an ambulance control room with a requirement to respond to a life threatening Category A call by having a crew on scene within eight minutes at least 75% of the time.

However, under new proposals, ambulance chiefs want an extra minute before the clock starts ticking during which a call handler can assess the most appropriate response, such as sending a transport ambulance or a rapid response vehicle.

The briefing document, sent to MPs in East Anglia says, the Call Connect system “introduced faster care, but not necessarily better care for patients.”

The East of England Ambulance Service confirmed the proposals had been put forward but declined to discuss them further at this stage.

The Department of Health said: “The department is considering changes to strengthen the target for the most serious ambulance calls. We are looking at the whole system of dealing with care for the most seriously ill patients.”

It said changes will only be introduced “once a safe approach is agreed.”


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