'We should be saving more lives', says ex-ambulance boss

'We should be saving more lives' says ex North West ambulance boss

'We should be saving more lives' says ex North West ambulance boss

First published in East Lancashire
Last updated

AN ex-ambulance boss has claimed hundreds of cardiac arrest patients could be dying unnecessarily due to delays in paramedics getting to the scene.

North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) is performing fewer resuscitation attempts than almost every other ambulance trust in England, according to figures highlighted by former Staffordshire ambulance chief Roger Thayne.

He has called for an inquiry into why some trusts are performing better than others – claiming crews in England should be saving 2,500 more lives each year.

Earlier this year the Lancashire Telegraph revealed how NWAS failed to meet the eight-minute response target for cardiac arrest cases, in more than half the wards in East Lancashire over a six-month period last year.

Mr Thayne said: “We have an NHS which should be as good in any part of the country and we should not have a postcode lottery in terms of this very acute condition, the cardiac arrest.

“I estimate that we should be saving twice as many lives a year. It's absolutely frightening and totally unnecessary.”

NWAS crews made 484 resuscitation attempts per million head of population in 2011/12, and ranked the second lowest of 12 trusts. South Western crews made the most attempts with 848 per million and South Central the fewest with 243.

Mr Thayne said the way the NHS publishes the data was ‘misleading’, as it highlights survival rates rather than resuscitation attempts.

South Central has the highest survival rate at 16 per cent, compared to eight per cent in the South West.

The survival rate in the North West was seven per cent.

NWAS medical director Kevin Mackway-Jones said: “We cannot comment on Mr Thayne’s claims without a better understanding as to how he has analysed the data provided.

“As a trust we follow internationally recognised resuscitation guidelines. The latest Ambulance Clinical Quality Indicators for Cardiac Arrest management ranked NWAS as the third highest performing ambulance service in the country.”

Comments (3)

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6:46pm Tue 25 Feb 14

mavrick says...

Was it not long ago that the number of ambulances were cut in the north west? Was it not the current bosses who said it would not have any effect on service? perhaps if the current bosses were to be offered the opportunity to use their skills elsewhere things would might just get a little better for the patient.
Was it not long ago that the number of ambulances were cut in the north west? Was it not the current bosses who said it would not have any effect on service? perhaps if the current bosses were to be offered the opportunity to use their skills elsewhere things would might just get a little better for the patient. mavrick
  • Score: 3

9:06pm Tue 25 Feb 14

Manuel Hung says...

Budget cuts to all the emergency services can only ever result in one thing. The only thing you get for less is......less!

The sooner these idiots are voted out the better.
Budget cuts to all the emergency services can only ever result in one thing. The only thing you get for less is......less! The sooner these idiots are voted out the better. Manuel Hung
  • Score: 6

9:53pm Tue 25 Feb 14

billy32 says...

Strange how some people when they "leave" their job decide to say how good it could be if people did their job better. I defy anybody to give a 24 hour service and say they could be in any part of the borough in 8 minutes. If the taxi drivers can't do it then neither can an ambulance. The ambulance service do a great job to the best of their abilities.
Strange how some people when they "leave" their job decide to say how good it could be if people did their job better. I defy anybody to give a 24 hour service and say they could be in any part of the borough in 8 minutes. If the taxi drivers can't do it then neither can an ambulance. The ambulance service do a great job to the best of their abilities. billy32
  • Score: 10

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