Life-threatening calls almost double over New Year

Life-threatening calls almost double over New Year

We’ve prepared a briefing document for our key stakeholders to help explain the pressures we have faced this New Year and the steps taken to try and alleviate the impact on our patients and staff.

Here are some of the key findings from our initial review into activity during 31 December 2016 to 2 January 2017:

  • 88 extra vehicles were put out by EMAS.
  • The number of life-threatening Red calls received (potentially life-threatening) almost doubled.
  • 2000+ calls were put through to EMAS by NHS111 while that service also experienced high demand.
  • Lost hours at hospital increased by 96% compared to the same period in 2015/16 – equating to 112 of our 12-hour vehicle shifts being spent waiting in emergency departments.
  • Despite the huge increase, on 1 January the average call answer time for 999 calls was nine seconds. On 2 January it was five seconds, and as at lunchtime on 3 January four seconds – not even two rings on the phone!
  • 75% of all EMAS patients categorised as needing a Red 1 response (potentially life threatening) did so within 9 minutes and 35 seconds. 75% of all EMAS patients categorised as needing a Red 2 response did so within 20 minutes and 5 seconds. Note: EMAS is not currently contracted, and therefore not resourced, to meet the national 75% Red call standard.

More information is included in our stakeholder briefing which you can access here.

Update published 11 January 2017:

We’ve compared December 2016 and 2015 data. It shows that in December 2016 EMAS received 18.6% more calls and lost 2,000 more hours to hospital handover delays reducing our ability to get to patients waiting in the community. Despite this we:

  • Got to 1,485 more life-threatening calls within eight minutes
  • Took 1.5% less patients to an Emergency Department eg we treated more on scene/referred them to a more appropriate service

EMAS Polamb in Leicester City on New Year's Eve