North East Ambulance Service has responded to thousands more life-threatening calls this year than the previous year.
Between April 2014 and March 2015, the service responded to 13,708 more Category A Red emergencies than the previous year. This is an increase of 8.1%.
This increased demand this year for the most critical incidents has led to our performance against the national target falling below the expectation of reaching 75 per cent of Red incidents within 8 minutes. NEAS has responded to 75 per cent of these patients within 8 minutes and 14 seconds.
During Quarter 4, NEAS responded to 75.33% of Red incidents within 8 minutes and this performance continued into early April 2015.
Hospital delays have affected our performance. In Quarter 4, 8,175 delays were experienced at hospital over the 15 minute target for arrival to handover, compared to 8,024 in the previous quarter. Of these delays, 696 were over one hour and 95 were over two hours.
Most of these delays were experienced in January and the reduced handover delays in February and March has seen improvements in Red performance.
NEAS remains committed to improving the experience of our patients by caring for and treating patients at home or via telephone advice, therefore avoiding unnecessary conveyances to hospital.
NEAS has treated over 7,500 more patients during 2014/15 than last year without the need to transport them. This reduces pressures on the emergency care system and allows greater access for those patients with the most urgent needs.