Emergency ambulance response times on the Island are some of the best in England according to recently published national statistics.
The figures for 2009/10, published by National Statistics and The Information Centre for Health and Social Care, show that the service attended 17,500 emergency incidents in 2009/10 compared to 17,300 in 2007/08.
Of these 17,500 emergency incidents:
4,900 calls were Category A – immediately life threatening, 7,000 calls were Category B – serious but not life threatening and 5,600 calls were Category C – urgent but not serious or life threatening
Of the 4,900 calls requiring an emergency response, 77.2% were responded to within 8 minutes placing the Isle of Wight in second place out of 12 ambulance services in England. The average for England is 74.3%.
97.1% of the Category B calls were responded to within 19 minutes. The average for England is 96.8% and the Isle of Wight comes fourth amongst the 12 ambulance services in England.
Of the 5,600 calls which were judged to be less urgent (Category C) 96.7% of ambulances arrived within 19 minutes. The average for England is 91.0% and the Isle of Wight comes top out of the 12 ambulance services in England.
In 900 cases calls to the 999 service were resolved with telephone advice.
Ambulance spokesperson Ian Yeo says: “Although we are the smallest Ambulance Service in England the latest national figures show once again that Islanders receive a fast service. In an emergency a first responder, a paramedic or emergency care practitioner in a fast response car or an emergency ambulance will be on the scene within minutes. Even with an increase in the number of calls we have maintained our fast response times. The support of both frontline staff and those who take the calls in the emergency call centre is essential and we couldn’t achieve our excellent performance times without their hard work and dedication.”
The Ambulance Service including non urgent patient transport services has an annual budget of £6m. The Ambulance Service fleet of 30 vehicles includes 10 emergency ambulances, 10 fast response vehicles and 3 co-responder vehicles. The Service employs 132 staff including 70 paramedics, 18 emergency vehicle operatives, 2 technicians, 16 High Dependency or Patient Transport staff and 23 call centre staff.
Head of the Island’s Ambulance Service, Chris Smith said: “The team effort of all staff, both operationally and in the Control Centre, contributes to us achieving these targets. We may be a small service but we have proved year on year that we can deliver an excellent service for patients. I want to say a big thank you to everyone who contributes to this achievement.”
Chief Operating Officer for NHS Isle of Wight’s provider services, Karen Baker comments: “This is a tremendous achievement by the Ambulance Service. We can all be proud of the service and confident that they will be there when we need them.”