When people in an emergency call for an ambulance it is absolutely essential that a properly staffed ambulance turns up on time, says GMB London
GMB London have commented further on the death of a patient in Essex.
Warren Kenny, GMB Regional Secretary said:
“In 2010 GMB expressed serious concerns that the then watering down of the ambulance response time targets could have serious implications for patient safety. The union back then expressed concern that the changes could lead to patients dying.
“Subsequently in 2017 there was a further watering down of the targets, which were not universally welcomed. Under the new system, call handlers time to assess a patient over the phone increased from 60 seconds to four minutes.
“In light of the terrible case that GMB brought to light on Friday 5th January, GMB are calling on the Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt, and East of England Ambulance Service to investigate whether these changes to ambulance response times were a contributory factor leading to the death in Clacton.
“As GMB said in 2010, when people in an emergency call for an ambulance it is absolutely essential that a properly staffed ambulance turns up on time.
“This case in Essex needs to be thoroughly investigated. It is equally not helpful for managers in the ambulance service to try to restrict information from getting into the public domain, as some of our people on the ground think might be happening.
“This is not helpful and management must make clear that they are in favour of transparency.”