PERFORMANCE: A ‘task and finish’ group has been set up to look in greater detail at North West Ambulance Service breaches of the eight minute response target for Category A calls, St Helens Clinical Commissioning Group has reported.

At times NWAS has only reached 58 per cent of these patients within eight minutes on St Helens’ patch, against a target of 75 per cent, according to the CCG’s 29 January governing body papers.

The papers add: “The outcomes of the discussions held at a governing body meeting held in November 2014 have been escalated to the Merseyside lead for ambulance commissioning and also the lead commissioner – Blackpool CCG. A task and finish group has been established through the sub-regional director of nursing that seeks assurance of the quality and safety of patients who are not reached by NWAS within the targeted period.”

Minutes for the November meeting referred to state: “The governing body asked for assurances of when the response times would be back on target, however the ambulance service were unable to provide that assurance at this time.

“The governing body were keen to understand why adjacent neighbouring areas appeared to have better response times than St Helens and the ambulance service agreed to provide further detailed information on patient paths in order to assure the board that the patients were still safe and the reasons for the delayed responses. It was noted that the failure to meet the targets could be by as little as 10 seconds and so the governing body requested information on the longest waiting patient, and were any patients put at risk because of the delay, which was also agreed.”