Report: Ambulance response times improve, but 25% still not making it.

Date Published : November 1st, 2014    Published By : admin

New figures reveal that response times to HSE emergency ambulances have improved, but 25% are still not making the target time of getting to the scene.

The report shows that in the first seven months of the year, 75% of ECHO calls (Life-threatening cardiac or respiratory arrest) made it to the scene within 18 minutes and 59 seconds, compared with 70.5% last year.

Response times to DELTA calls, which are for life-threatening injuries, showed an improvement, but almost 4 in 10 failed to make the recommended time. The report showed it was as low as 56.6% in the Western region.

The Health Service Executive said the improvement is due to the increased use of intermediate ambulances which can be used to transfer patients in non-emergency situations between hospitals. In July, 77pc of all inter-hospital transfers were handled by these vehicles, up from 44pc in December 2013. They are now carrying out around 3,000 patient transfers a month.

The ambulance service receives approximately 22,000 emergency calls a month, annually rising to about 275,000 to 280,000.  The HSE said a significant problem remains in releasing ambulances which have brought patients to hospital but must wait because of A&E overcrowding.

The report shows that figures for August reveal that just 64pc were released within half an hour or less while most were freed up within an hour.

Published: 01/11/14 at 16.00

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