PERFORMANCE: Commissioners in East Anglia has expressed concern that East of England Ambulance Service Trust has missed a large number of targets relating to responses to 999 calls.

In the “red 1 A8” category – patients with life threatening conditions – the target of reaching 75 per cent of people within eight minutes was missed in six of 10 months from April 2014 to January 2015. In the less serious “green 2 30” category the target of reaching patients within 30 minutes was missed in all 100 months.

The trust faces “financial consequences” of about £4.7m because of the failure to hit targets, Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG said in its governing body papers. Staff shortages and out of area patient demand are major reasons for the problems, the papers said.

Ambulances across East Suffolk are being called into neighbouring areas to handle extra demand, and delays in handing over patients at hospitals in these areas have also been a problem, the CCG said.

CCG chief officer Julian Herbert said: “Ambulance performance has improved regionally and in East Suffolk but not to the levels expected when the business case was made. In East Suffolk this is largely due to staffing issues and the impact of fleet ‘draw’ to other CCG areas. The CCG continues to work with the trust to improve the ambulance service for local people.”