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Call to rethink ambulance targets

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

The head of the Welsh ambulance service has called for the target response times for the most serious accidents to be rethought. As it currently stands, the national target to reach category A life-threatening calls is 8 minutes.  After the Welsh ambulance service saw a slight improvement in their figures over the last month, which had been the worst on record, the chief executive of the service said that these should be reconsidered.

“does not make a difference”

In January crews hit the 8-minute target 48.5% of time, yet the Welsh government target aims for it to be reached 65% of the time.  The chief executive of the Welsh Ambulance Service, Tracy Myhill, said that these targets need rethinking. She said: “Most of the calls we take, most of the work we do, eight minutes does not make a difference … I want to look at clinical outcomes. I want to look at what happens when we see those patients and when we get them to treatment.

She stressed that the eight-minute response time target actually makes little difference to the outcome of patients. The 65% target has only been met once in Wales over the last two and a half years, with Ms Myhill stressing that this is by no manner of means an effective way of measuring the service’s performance.

The Welsh ambulance service is looking into new response measures, focusing on key treatment areas – care for people who have had heart attacks, strokes and fractured hips.

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