Ambulance service puts too much emphasis on response time to detriment of overall care, says National Audit OfficeBMJ 2011; 342 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d3672 (Published 10 June 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d3672
- Jo Carlowe
A new report into England’s ambulance service has shown inefficiencies and wasteful practice.
The report, by the National Audit Office, says that the ambulance service could save the NHS £165m (€190m; $270m) a year if all 11 ambulance trusts adopted the best practices. Moreover it says that the Department of Health has placed too much emphasis on speed of response as a measure of performance rather than on clinical outcomes.
“Over the last 10 years, until the beginning of April 2011, the Department has focused on response time targets, rather than taking a more rounded view of whether cost-effective clinical outcomes have been achieved,” states the report.
“The 8-minute response target, intended for the most seriously ill patients, is one of the most …