West Suffolk paramedics miss 999 call response target for life-threatening illnesses by more than 10%

East of England Ambulance Service. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

East of England Ambulance Service. Picture: CONTRIBUTED


Ambulance crews responding to life-threatening emergencies like heart attacks and strokes are failing to meet targets in Suffolk and Essex, new figures show.

Paramedics are expected to react and arrive at the most serious emergencies, known as red one calls, within eight minutes.

The regional target for this, agreed by commissioners and paramedics, currently stands at 68.5%.

During January 2017, response times for clinical commissioning groups in Ipswich and east Suffolk, west Suffolk and mid Essex show ambulance crews in these areas are all failing to meet such targets.

West Suffolk was the worst of all – with just over half (57.14%) of calls being responded to within eight minutes.

Just a month earlier, in December 2016, the area achieved 72% meaning its performance has fallen by 15% in just four weeks.

Only one area – north east Essex – achieved the regional response time target with 72.27% of emergencies being responded to in the eight-minute window.

Crews in Ipswich and east Suffolk also fell short of the target at 67%, while mid Essex paramedics achieved 65.5%.

Health bosses say the low numbers are partly down to crews being called to a very high number of critically ill patients over the past few months.

An East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST) spokeswoman said: “However, we are getting to more of these patients quicker now than a year ago and are supporting many more of our callers with clinical telephone advice to meet their needs.

“Our staff and volunteers make essential individual contributions to patient outcomes every single day, and are the driving force behind our ambition to provide the best possible responses to our communities.

“As always, we ask that we are only called in an emergency and would like to remind the public that the services of 111, GPs, pharmacists and walk in centres provide excellent advice and treatment.”

The spokeswoman also said EEAST is not commissioned to achieve national standards – which currently stands at 75% – at CCG level.

The performance target is a regional aggregate – and the trajectory agreed with commissioners at the moment is 68.5%.

The trust does not have enough resources to deliver national standards, she added, and that is why the NHS is set to review their capacity in 2017/2018.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Sudbury Mercury visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Sudbury Mercury staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Sudbury Mercury account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Other popular content

20 minutes ago

As the bank holiday approaches, health professionals in Suffolk are urging people to be prepared and avoid an unnecessary trip to A&E.

17 minutes ago

Firefighters from Norfolk and Suffolk helped to tackle a huge fire in Thetford Forest.

30 minutes ago

A man was airlifted to hospital in a “serious but stable” condition last night after he was involved in a crash in Suffolk.

Ignorance will not be bliss for small firms if they find themselves falling foul of new data protection rules, businesses have been warned.

Most read

Most commented

Show Job Lists

Local weather



max temp: 18°C

min temp: 15°C

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24