Graham Stuart MP will use a meeting in Parliament on Tuesday 2 February to ask tough questions of Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) Chairman Della Cannings and Chief Executive Rod Barnes about the Trust’s continuing poor performance in rural areas of the East Riding. Response times in Mid- and South Holderness have been a major concern for years and the latest data requested by Graham has revealed that:
- Only 41.4% of emergency calls from the HU11 postcode (Mid Holderness) were responded to in the target time of under 8 minutes between January and June 2015, with lows of 37.5% in March 2015 and just 34.2% in June 2015.
- Figures were also poor in HU12 (South Holderness), where only 54.6% of calls were answered in under 8 minutes between January and June 2015.
By contrast, the response rate from January to June 2015 was 81.8% in HU19 (Withernsea), 75% in HU18 (Hornsea) and 73.5% in HU17 (Beverley) – in line with the national target for Ambulance Services to respond to 75% of emergency calls in under 8 minutes.
- Response times have got worse in HU11 and HU12 compared to January-June 2014, when HU11 saw 53.2% of calls responded to in under 8 minutes and HU12 saw 56.3% of calls responded to in under 8 minutes.
- Response times deteriorated to varying degrees in 4 of the 5 postcodes covering the Beverley and Holderness constituency in the first half of 2015 compared to the first half of 2014. Improvement only occurred in HU19.
These delays can have very serious consequences. In October 2013 Graham’s constituent Ray Poole died of a heart attack in Hornsea after it took 15 minutes for the first help to arrive, and 28 minutes for an ambulance to turn up. The Pooles live just 450 yards from their local ambulance station.
Graham has now requested the data for the second half of 2015, but he intends to grill YAS chiefs at Tuesday’s briefing for local MPs. He said,
“It is unacceptable that response times in some rural areas of my constituency continue to trail so far behind the national target – and that they have got worse not only compared to the equivalent period in 2014 but even compared to 2012, when I started my campaign. People in Mid Holderness in particular will rightly worry that they will not receive emergency care when they most desperately need it.
“It’s good news that response rates are in line with the national target in Hornsea, Beverley and Withernsea, but it’s clear there is much more to do to ensure a better service for everyone. I have fought for changes to staff rostering and to call assignments so rural crews are more likely to return to their posts from Hull, but the scale of the problem in HU11 and HU12 remains stark. It’s also concerning that the percentage of calls answered in under 8 minutes slipped in four of the five postcodes in the constituency between 2014 and 2015.
“I will make it crystal clear to Yorkshire Ambulance Service’s senior leadership that they must improve performance as a matter of urgency, and use the meeting to evaluate what plans they have to ensure there is a better story to tell for 2016 – and how credible these are. We have to achieve a turning point as lives depend on this.”