ONEL have responded promptly to my earlier post on an ambulance reorganisation saving 150 lives. I will give ground in that the BBC did not explicitly say 60 seconds will save lives. However, the BBC give the impression that while operators will now take an extra 60 seconds to decide what to do the impact will be:
The DoH article here http://mediacentre.dh.gov.uk/2012/05/16/over-half-a-million-wasted-ambulance-journeys/ says
"Under the new system the Government will expect Ambulance Trusts to get to more critically ill patients within the 8 minute national target" and later "For the most serious calls, where every second counts, ambulances will continue to be dispatched immediately
The clear implication is that 150 lives will be saved because ambulance attendance times will be improved. The point that time spent getting to A&E is critical and the proposed closure of KGH A&E will put lives at risk still appear sound. The ONEL response is below. I will put up any further response by Andy Strickland of ONEL.
Dear Cllr Walker
The recent BBC story does not say that ‘an improvement in ambulance response times of 60 seconds will save 150 lives’.
What it actually says is that the new practice for dispatch in some cases will take 60 seconds longer, but that the operator will use those 60 seconds to gather more and better information so that they can ensure the best, most appropriate response. For the most serious calls, where every second counts, ambulances will continue to be dispatched immediately.
These changes will make sure that the right support is sent to the right place and reaches patients fast, because the critical part of responding to any life-threatening situation is getting a paramedic and/or an ambulance to the patient quickly.
I’m sure you are planning to include the link to the story for readers of your blog?
We are very happy for you to publish this response on your blog.
NHS North East London and the City – a partnership of local primary care trusts
Becketts House, 2-14 Ilford Hill, Ilford, IG1 2QX