Councillor seeks assurances over ambulance response times to the Harwich Peninsula

Councillor Pam Morrison has obtained shocking figures on the subject of level 2 ambulance response times to the Harwich Peninsula over last winter and is seeking assurances that action is being taken to ensure that the same does not occur this winter.

Level 2 responses are those graded for emergencies such as strokes and heart attacks and an ambulance should be with the patient within 18 minutes of the 999 call being made. A Freedom of Information request tabled by Cllr. Morrison has revealed that only 15% of level 2 emergency calls resulted in an ambulance reaching the Harwich Peninsula within 18 minutes during November 2019, December 2019 and January 2020 with an average response time of over 40 minutes, more than double the expected arrival time.

Cllr. Pam Morrison says

“I tabled my FOI request after an item on the national news reported that winter response times in some areas had been poor. I was shocked when I received the figures but the arrival of the data coincided with the NHS pandemic crisis so then was not the time to pursue the matter. The time is now right to seek assurances that the necessary action is being taken to ensure that the Harwich Peninsula is better served on such a critical emergency issue during the coming winter.”

During the 3 months covered by the FOI request there were 582 level 2 ambulance requests to the Harwich Peninsula with only 88 arriving within the 18 minute prescribed response time. The average response time was 40 minutes and 55 seconds, more than double what it should have been.

“As with our local fire-fighters, I have the utmost respect for the commitment and professionalism of those working for the East of England Ambulance Service and this is in no way an attack on them. The problem is that our emergency services are under resourced and those in charge are not taking into consideration the remote nature of the Harwich Peninsula. This cannot continue.”

Cllr Pam Morrison has tabled this issue for the September 1st meeting of Harwich Town Council and will be tabling it for the September 15th meeting of Tendring District Council. At both meetings she will be asking fellow councillors to put their weight behind a call for better service.

“This really could be a matter of life and death and it cannot be left to chance,” continued Pam Morrison. “We need to know that those responsible have taken note of last winter’s figures and have taken the necessary action to ensure a much better service for the Harwich Peninsula for the coming winter.”

For further information please contact

Cllr. Pam Morrison on 07745 096783

Pictured Cllr. Pam Morrison – Source: Harwich & Manningtree Standard

Only 15% of category two emergency calls arrived on time in Harwich, figures reveal