Tuesday, May 29, 2012

ONEL comment on 60 Seconds Saves Lives

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:

"It also meant that patients were reached more quickly for both Red One and Two cases as there were more crews available."

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.



Andy Strickland
Media Manager

NHS North East London and the City – a partnership of local primary care trusts
Becketts House, 2-14 Ilford Hill, Ilford, IG1 2QX

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Confusion over closure date for KGH units

The Yellow Advertiser have reported that the closure of KGH maternity and A&E will start this November. However, BHRUT have denied this is the case, it seems inconceivable that these vital units should be taken from our community and I was delighted to read the denial.

60 Seconds Saves Lives

The BBC report that an improvement in ambulance response times of 60 seconds will save at least 150 lives. This another reason to say no to the closure of KGH A&E, as whilst people will get to Queens quicker, it will not outweigh the longer period it will take to get to Queens if KGH is allowed to close.
An implication of the report is that for some conditions, speed to the A&E will also impact upon recovery and also whether lasting damage occurs.
I have written to Averil Dongworth, the BHRUT Chief Executive asking whether she accepts this change to ambulance response times and the Department of Health saying time is vital will mean a review of the decision to close our A&E and will report back with her reply.