PERFORMANCE: A performance board paper for South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group warns that North Bristol NHS Trust ambulance handover breach rates remain higher than the target, and that the ambulance trust failed to meet its target for 2012-13.

The papers show that “at the root of the failure to meet the target in 2012/13 are the patient flow difficulties experienced by all providers, particularly during the winter period, which has made it very difficult to transfer patients to the care of the emergency department in a sufficiently timely fashion.

“There have also been difficulties with ambulance “batching”, with large volumes of ambulances arriving at certain periods.”

It adds that although in recent weeks there has been a reduction in pressure on emergency departments, which has shown a slight improvement in handover performance, “it is not yet clear if this will be sustained or significant”.