Calls for ‘poorly-performing’ regional ambulance service to be re-tendered

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An ambulance service should be re-tendered because it gives such poor service in parts of the East Riding, according to a councillor.

It comes as an unnamed paramedic claims there are serious clinical incidents in the area each week due to a lack of qualified crews. Figures to June showed just 53.2 per cent of ambulances on average arrived at emergency calls, so-called red ones and twos, within eight minutes in the HU11 postcode, which covers Bilton, and just 56.3 per cent for homes in Hedon, Patrington and Preston – far short of the 75 per cent target.

Councillor Arthur Hodgson will put a motion to East Riding Council next month, and said: “I shall be asking for the clinical commissioning group, the commissioners and the Care Quality Commission which is inspecting Yorkshire Ambulance Service in January to look at performance with a view to having someone new take the service over to rectify the situation. It is poorly managed and poorly manned because of failures to train and recruit suitable people.”

There are fears the service will get even worse after plans were revealed that could allow ambulances longer to reach some seriously-ill patients.

Ambulance chiefs nationally want to re-classify calls in the “red two” category for people with breathing difficulties and symptoms of strokes, so they can arrive within 19 minutes instead.

Call handlers could also be given an extra two minutes to decide whether to send an ambulance where it is unclear whether symptoms are life-threatening.

The Government has said no decisions had been made.

The paramedic, who has 20 years of service, said he believed the regional service should go into special measures, adding: “UK resuscitation guidelines say for every minute someone is in cardiac arrest they lose 10 per cent chance of surviving. That’s why getting to those calls within eight minutes counts.”

No-one was available from YAS to comment.