East of England Ambulance Trust meets watchdog standards

The East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust, criticised in the past over response times, has been praised by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

A CQC report said the trust was "meeting all the essential standards of quality and safety".

Concerns were raised in 2011 about an increase in the number of suspected stroke patients having to wait more than an hour for an ambulance.

The ambulance service has not yet commented on the report.

The report, following an inspection of the trust by the CQC, said patients had described ambulance staff as "ever so good" and another complimented the "friendly" staff.

'Target failures'

But it also highlights some ambulance crews' concern at "excessive waiting times" and found that government targets for getting to the sickest patients had not been met in Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, mid-Essex and Suffolk.

The government target is that 75% of calls from people with life-threatening conditions are responded to within eight minutes.

The report concludes: "Although the trust has not met some of its key performance targets in relation to response times, we consider it has taken satisfactory measures to address the shortfalls within the areas of its control."

In previous inspections concerns had been raised in seven areas including care and welfare of patients and cleanliness and infection control.

But the CQC found the trust was now meeting required standard in all of them.

Among the measures it has put into place is a stroke action plan.

Last October a BBC Look East report highlighted the rising number of heart and stroke patients waiting more than an hour for an ambulance.

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