Yorkshire Ambulance Service missing targets for reaching seriously-ill Sheffield patients

The Northern General Hospital in Sheffield. Picture Scott Merrylees

The Northern General Hospital in Sheffield. Picture Scott Merrylees

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Ambulances are still not reaching enough critically-ill patients in time in Sheffield.

New figures show Yorkshire Ambulance Service is still not managing to hit a national target for reaching 75 per cent of the most seriously-ill patients within eight minutes.

A report to the Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group said the service has been asked to draw up a ‘recovery plan’ after repeatedly failing to hit the target in the city and across the wider Yorkshire region.

The report said commissioners have asked the ambulance service to provide an updated action plan detailing how the issue is going to be tackled.

Ambulance bosses have been warned they will face further financial penalties if they fail to reach their targets.

In December, it was revealed the ambulance service was on course to be fined almost £4m in 2014/15 by clinical commissioning groups for not hitting the targets.

A spokesman for the ambulance service said at the time that paramedics were having to deal with ‘year-on-year’ increases in the number of emergency calls they are sent to but added the trust was ‘working hard’ to improve its response times.

The CCG report said: “In February, and for the year to date, the number of emergency calls resulting in a response arriving within eight minutes has continued to fall short of the 75 per cent pledge.

“Work continues between commissioners and Yorkshire Ambulance Service to review the position and the plans YAS is putting in place to achieve improvements.

“If performance remains below contractual requirements by the end of March/April, or agreed milestones in remedial action plans are not met, further contractual sanctions will be applied.”

In Sheffield and the wider Yorkshire region, the ambulance service has been reaching around 69 per cent of the most-ill or injured patients within the time limit throughout 2014/15.