Call for trust to give more detailed figures

TWO MPs have called for a better breakdown of ambulance response figures, to reveal hidden problems.

The call comes after a county-by-county breakdown by the East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST) was produced as the result of a Freedom of Information request. It showed that while the service had hit the national target of reaching 75 per cent of emergency calls in eight minutes across its region, it had failed to do it over a year in Suffolk and Norfolk.

Bury St Edmunds MP David Ruffley has written to the trust’s chief executive Hayden Newton asking for a better breakdown and says that 10 years ago he used to get figures down to borough and district council ward level.

“We’re being kept in the dark by the trust because there’s a huge variation between town and country,” he said. “That 75 per cent conceals figures as high as 95 per cent in towns and as low as 50 per cent in the country.”

The county breakdowns the trust issued showed that from February 2010 to January 2011 the best achieved in Suffolk was 73.17 per cent and in Norfolk was 74.29 while in more urban Bedfordshire it only dropped below 80 per cent once.

South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss said: “I think it is very important to have full transparency as it is more likely to result in a good service to all areas rather than just those that are easier to reach.”

EEAST had not commented as we went to press.