North Norfolk Labour Party has obtained statistics which show that the East of England Ambulance Service is facing huge demand and even longer turnaround time delays at Christmas, despite increasing the total number of staff serving the region.
Two weeks before Christmas EEAST increased staff hours by 7,000 but in the same week 2,000 of those hours were lost at the region’s hospitals due to long turnaround times.
In a snapshot of data on the Monday before Christmas (17 December) 476 out of the 1130 total recorded journeys were delayed in the region – equivalent to 17 double-staffed ambulances being off the road that day, and in patient terms around 140 patients waiting for a DSA across our region in one day.
Thirty of the sixty-eight recorded patient journeys at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital waited over 20 minutes before being cleared on this day alone.
North Norfolk Labour Party continues to argue that cutting seven double-staffed ambulances from the county is wrong when the demand continues to grow in the winter months.
Denise Burke, chair of North Norfolk Labour Party, said:
“Throughout our Act on Ambulances campaign we have stressed to MPs and health officials that NHS cuts are totally unacceptable when we are seeing worsening ambulance response times and turnaround delays. Nearly 9,000 people have made it clear that these cuts are wrong when what we need is more ambulances not less.
It was clear that in the winter months demand was going to grow, but still the East of England Ambulance Service Trust has reduced the double-staffed ambulance fleet by approximately seven in the county.
The Trust is missing targets and looks set to miss an important A19 target for a second year. At the same time the government is pressing ahead with a costly reorganisation of the NHS which is cutting 6,500 nurses at a time when there is more need than ever for them.
As a health minister on our doorstep Norman Lamb should be telling the government that these cuts – cuts confirmed by Andrew Dilnot earlier this month – should be overturned.”