There are 11 NHS Ambulance Trusts in England. They are the first point of access to the healthcare system for a variety of patient conditions including life-threatening, chronic illness and social care.
The East of England Ambulance Trust covers the counties of Norfolk, Suffolk, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex and Hertfordshire. The Trust employs 4,000 staff and deals with over 900,000 emergency calls each year. It also deals with one million non-emergency patient journies for routine medical treatment. (source: www.eastamb.nhs.uk)
In the main the service provided is very competent. However, errors and mistakes do happen and sometimes these can prove very costly. The types of problem that can occur and the areas in which TSP is able to offer advice to clients include:
- Transportation error / delay
- Equipment error
- Inappropriate care
- Incorrect assessment
All Ambulance Service Trusts in England are required to report all adverse patient incidents to the National Reporting and Learning Service (NRLS). In the year to March 2014 the 11 Ambulance Service Trusts in England reported a combined total of 6,365 incidents, 118 of which were severe and 48 of which resulted in death.
The East of England Ambulance Service Trust was the first in the country to publish, on a monthly basis, its own “vital signs”. This details the number of calls they respond to, whether target response times were achieved, and how many complaints they received.