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10 per cent rise in ambulance call outs – The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald

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PRESSURE on hospitals over the winter has exceeded expectations, with more ambulance call outs and high numbers of bed blocking across acute hospitals.

However the number of influenza outbreaks is lower that last year and Wiltshire’s overall performance has moved from 12th to 15th in the South West in transferring patients from hospitals when they no longer need care.

Delayed Transfers of Care, also known as bed blocking, decreased by 14 per cent last November compared to the year before and has decreased every month compared to the previous year.

National targets set want to see the group acheived just 1200 days spent by patients waiting to leave hospital and return home, to free up more beds for patients in need of care.

However the Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group, including all three acute hospitals in the area, saw patients spending a total of 1369 too many days in hospital, which remains above national targets.

Spekaing during today’s Health and Wellbeing Board at County Hall in Trowbridge, Jo Cullen, director of primary care and urgent care/group Director at Wiltshire CCG, said: “There has been an improved picture but there has also been an increase in demand. We have made improvements in the last year but are still behind South west and Nationally.”

Demand on ambulances has also increased, with 10 per cent more ambulance calls outs than last year, and 1.5 per cent more than Wiltshire CCG had forecasted and planned for.

South West Ambulance Service attended nearly 6000 incidents in February , compared to just over 5000 for the same period last year.

Ms Cullen added: “Activity and demand has been at a higher level then contracted for. There is a very similar pattern every year but between November and January this has outstripped our planned provision. However we have one of the highest rates in the country for calls being handled by a clinician.”

Wiltshire had the second highest figure for flu vaccinations in the South West this winter, with more people getting vaccinated in catagories including those aged over 65, younger people at risk and children under the age of three than in 2018. However the proportion of pregnant women getting the flu jab decreased.

During the week beginning March 11 there were 10 outbreaks of flu, nine in care homes and one in a school. This figure is lower than last year.

Cllr Ben Anderson said: “I think the overall impression we get is there a lot of good work going on and collaboration going on and we are making improvement but generally we are still adverse across most charts and graphs we have.”

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