Response times ‘are improving’ says Emas boss

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The boss of an ambulance service under fire for repeatedly missing response targets says things are now improving.

East Midlands Ambulance Service, known as Emas, has been heavily criticised in recent months for repeatedly missing national response time targets.

But the service’s chief executive Sue Noyes is confident things are getting better. Response times have been improving and in March this year, paramedics met the target of arriving at 75 per cent of immediately life-threatening calls within eight minutes.

The service just fell short on meeting life-threatening calls requiring a defibrillator within eight minutes, missing the 75 per cent target by 1.57 per cent. But the 95 per cent target of an ambulance arriving to both types of calls within 19 minutes was met.

Mrs Noyes was backed in her statement by NHS England and Emas’ lead commissioner, Erewash Clinical Commissioning Group. Both organisations noted improvements in Emas’ relationships with partners and stakeholders and local management arrangements. They also praised the service for recruiting to key clinical vacancies.

Mrs Noyes said: “These messages will be a real boost for staff who have worked particularly hard throughout the winter months to make improvements at the same time as responding to thousands of emergency calls.

“However, we are not complacent in any way, and although we are now well on the way in this big journey, we know we still have a long way to go to offer consistently high quality services to every patient, every time.”

Emas has put plans to close ambulance stations around the region on hold while it focuses on improving response times.

The service had planned to close stations in Stamford, Bourne and Oakham, and open a new one in Market Deeping.