Hastings ambulances hit response time targets

Hastings crews fared better than Rother
Hastings crews fared better than Rother

AMBULANCE crews are reaching critically ill patients in Hastings within Government-set targets unlike neighbouring Rother, newly released figures have shown.

Between April 2010 and March 2011, South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) attended 4,263 life-threatening (category A) calls in the town.

Paramedics managed to reach 87.19 per cent of those patients within eight minutes of the call-out, with an average response time of just five-and-a-half minutes.

The Government target is 75 per cent.

Hastings ambulance crews fared far better than Rother, which fell short of the target with 70.55 per cent of the 3,738 category A call-outs attended within eight minutes.

But the average response time for Rother was seven minutes and 24 seconds.

Across East Sussex the average response time for a category A call was six minutes and 18 seconds, with 79.55 per cent of patients being reached within eight minutes.

Hastings crews also received 5,072 non life-threatening (category B) calls during the annual period and managed to reach 97.06 per cent of these within 19 minutes.

The average response time was seven minutes and 41 seconds - well below the target.

In Rother the figure was 91.12 per cent, with an average time of 10 minutes and four seconds.

A spokesman for South East Coast Ambulance Service said: “SECAmb actually reached 3,190 more seriously ill or injured patients within eight minutes in 2010-11 compared to 2009-10.

“This was despite a seven per cent increase in calls for the same period and with staff facing extremely challenging weather conditions.”

The spokesman added: “The trust of course understands that response times are extremely important but so too are outcomes for patients. We welcome the fact that the category B target for non-life threatening emergencies was removed in April of this year to be replaced by a series of performance indicators.”