A KIRKLEES health chief has hit out against poor ambulance response times in Huddersfield.
And Mr Mike Potts, chief executive of NHS Kirklees, called on board members to support sending a letter to Yorkshire’s key health figures to highlight his concerns about the Yorkshire Ambulance Service.
Mr Potts said the ambulance services failures could no longer be tolerated.
He said: “We cannot allow this to continue. It has gone on long enough now.
“It is not turning around after all the investment and work that has gone in.
“It is not performing in the way we thought it would be.
“It is also stopping other organisations improving their performance.
“It is a worry and I have not got any magical answers to it. I wish I did.”
The call by Mr Potts comes after the Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) persistently failed to meet the Government’s target of answering 75% of blue-light Category A calls within eight minutes in Kirklees.
Crews in Kirklees last month responded to only 65.6% of calls within the target time.
In September it was 67%, while figures were around 66% for July and August.
NHS Kirklees pays the ambulance service for cover across the area out of its annual health budget.
Mr Potts told board members how YAS had been placed in formal turnaround because of its failure to deliver services across the region.
He added: “It is now in formal turnaround so the focus has been upped.
“They need to think about some radical solutions to this.
“We are still having difficulty getting information out of the ambulance service.
“There is a reluctance to provide information.
“There are certain things we can do to help with the problem around issues of ambulance turnaround times at hospital and the demands GPs are placing on ambulances.
“But we need information to be able to target those GPs and look at demand for the service.
“It is important we all do our bit in this, but we need information to be able to do that.”
He said primary care trusts across Yorkshire, which manage GPs and dentists, were trying to work with YAS chief executive Martyn Pritchard on finding a solution to the problem.
NHS Kirklees’ Rob Napier agreed to write a letter to NHS Yorkshire and Humber Strategic Health Authority, expressing the trust’s concerns about the ambulance service.