Ambulances are now gettting to patients in most parts of the West Midlands within the required response time despite an increase in demand according to new figures.
Staff have been praised for their hard work after it was revealed that ambulances had arrived at 82 per cent of Red 1 calls, the highest priority cases, within the strict eight-minute target in May.
And crews had responded to 77.7 per cent of Red 2 calls, which are serious but less time critical, within the allotted eight minutes during the month.
The target for both categories is 75 per cent.
And board members heard year to date targets were also being met with 80.7 per cent for Red 1 and 76.9 per cent for Red 2 calls.
Last year the service was fined £2.6 million after missing targets over two quarters. It failed to reach the Red 2 performance standard by just over one per cent and was handed the fine by the Clinical Commissioning Groups.
The service only had to pay £800,000 of the total fine, which was funded by its reserves. The remaining £1.8m will be reinvested to help improve ambulance response times.
Emergency Services director Nathan Hudson said the figures for the month were ‘extremely good’.
Mr Hudson said overall demand for the service had increased by 7.6 per cent compared to the same month last year.
And he said added there had been 3.5 per cent more calls than estimated over the course of the month.
“We have had an extremely good month and have met all performance targets for May with an improvement across all categories from April,” he said.
“This has been despite a higher level of activity.
“Members of staff have put in a lot of hard work to meet these targets and should be praised for all they have done and the achievements they have made over the period.
“We are also achieving targets for the year as whole.”
Mr Hudson said in individual areas over the month Shropshire and Worcester had failed to meet its Red 1 target. However these areas were more challenging as many of the locations are in remote rural areas which take longer to get to.
Ambulance turnaround times, for the time it takes to deal with a patient either at hospital or other means, for the month averaged just over 28 minutes. The service target is 30 minutes.
The proportion of turnarounds over 30 minutes was highest at Birmingham’s Heartlands Hospital with 53.2 per cent of cases over the target.
Members of the board noted the report and acknowledged the figures.