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Councillors call for quarterly rather than annual ambulance response times

Ambulance response times in north Norfolk are among the worst in the country.  Photo: EEAST

Ambulance response times in north Norfolk are among the worst in the country. Photo: EEAST

EEAST

Councillors want to monitor ambulance response times in north Norfolk on a quarterly rather than annual basis.

Ambulance response times are a cocern in north Norfolk. Photo: EEASTAmbulance response times are a cocern in north Norfolk. Photo: EEAST

Response tmes in north Norfolk are among the worst in the country.

The continued failure to meet ambulance response times prompted North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) to demand action last November.

And NNDC's overview and scrutiny committee, meeting on Wednesday, January 15, now wants its counterparts at the Norfolk Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (NHOSC) to provide times every three months.

The council also wants response times to be broken down into postcode areas, to highlight the worst affected areas.

The committee will invite representatives from East of England Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (EEAST) and the North Norfolk CCG (clinical commissioning group) to brief them in person on efforts being made to address the issue.

Voluntary first responders will also get more support and training in a bid to improve times.

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The meeting was also told that the problems with response times were exacerbated by ambulances being held up at A&E at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

Earlier in the meeting, Cley Parish Council chairman Dr Victoria Holliday said response times were much worse in north Norfolk than in King's Lynn or Norwich.

She also requested that the district keeps rapid response vehicles in the region, rather than them being phased out.

Independent councillor Nigel Housden said: "We should get quarterly reports. We are the worst serving area in the country. It's a poor indictment of North Norfolk. If you travel to other areas of the country that are just as remote, their figures are much better than ours."

The meeting was told that NHOSC was "quite willing" to provide quarterly reports.

The district council has written to the chief executive of the EEAST, as well as the government, to demand action over what it calls "unacceptable" response times.

Sarah Butikofer, council leader, said the trust's performance meant that, even in the best performing parts of the district, ambulances only got to the most urgent calls within their eight-minute target, 35pc of the time. In the worst-performing areas, it was 2pc.


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