Page last updated at 19:01 GMT, Thursday, 5 March 2009

Ambulance call review recommended

An independent report into allegations about East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) has recommended an examination of the way urgent calls are dealt with.

It was commissioned after anonymous allegations that patients lives' were being put at risk.

The report, published on Thursday, rejected 21 allegations, but said some concerns about delays and availability of ambulances had been highlighted.

Staffing cover will also be looked at in response to the report.

The case of an elderly person lying in the street with a broken leg having to wait almost two hours for a double-staffed ambulance was one of the complaints upheld.

Another concerned a double-staffed ambulance having to travel more than 25 miles to a person who had collapsed less than three miles from a hospital, although the paramedic first responder was quick on the scene.

'Small number of cases'

A third case raising concern was that of a person with a life-threatening head injury who had to be taken to hospital in a police car because no ambulance was available.

The review team said procedures for dealing with the management of Urgent Calls - calls from GPs which have a longer response time than emergency calls - should be looked at.

The report also called for a review of core or planned operational staff cover in the Lincolnshire division.

The study was commissioned by EMAS and Derbyshire County Primary Care Trust (PCT).

David Whiting from EMAS said: "I think it's worth pointing out that the cases referred to are very small in number.

"And in terms of getting a second ambulance to the scene, the report does state that 93% of the time, the vast majority of the time, that ambulance arrives promptly. But it is right that we review our cover and again, we will act upon those findings."

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The review follows anonymous allegations that patients' lives were being put at risk



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