Ruffley congratulates Suffolk on Healthcare Commission report but questions Ambulance handover times

Thursday, 25 September, 2008

David Ruffley MP has this week commented on the Healthcare Commission's Urgent and Emergency Care Review on the Suffolk PCT area.

Overall Suffolk falls within the top performing areas, however, it falls into the lowest category for the percentage 'of patients transported to A & E by ambulance where the turnaround takes over 15 minutes'.

David has written to the Chief Executive of the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust, Hayden Newton, asking for an explanation for the poor performance.

David said:

'The Healthcare Commission's recent report into Urgent and Emergency Care in Suffolk put Suffolk among the best performing areas overall. This is a reflection of the hard work healthcare professionals across Suffolk put in on our behalf on a daily basis.

'However, it also reveals that ambulance response times to the most urgent call outs fall below average- in Suffolk only 76 percent of Category A responses, the most urgent callouts, are attended within 8 minutes and only 89 percent within 19 minutes. Furthermore, handover times from the ambulance service to A & E staff are among the worst in the country with 11 percent of handovers taking in excess of 15 minutes.

'I have, therefore, this week taken the matter up with Hayden Newton, Chief Executive of the East of England Ambulance Service, asking him what explanation he has for this report and what measures are being put in place to ensure improved performance here in Suffolk.'