Opinion: Some praise, but much more to do

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It would be churlish not to give East Midlands Ambulance Service some praise for the response time improvements it has made in recent weeks.

However, we should not forget that the service missed most of its targets in 2013 and, despite the progress, is still missing targets now.

And let’s not forget that these are minimum targets which should be achieved.

It is not the fault of current East Midlands Ambulance Service chief executive Sue Noyes that we have heard the kind of assurances she has made before. But she has got to deliver.

Far too often this newspaper has reported a senior ambulance service official saying a corner has been turned or that it is on the right track.

Yet, time after time, year after year, response time targets are not met.

The chief executive admits that “we know we still have a long way to go to offer consistently high quality services to every patient, every time”. That is the key.

For now, the ambulance service management takes credit for making some improvements but there will be many, not least this newspaper, who want to see targets hit consistently for a long period of time before we will let the service off the hook.

Until that time we will continue to monitor and highlight the service’s progress towards providing the quality of emergency service we all deserve.

Neil Pickford, Editor