The North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) has said that a 90 minute transfer time for emergency vascular patients living in hard to reach areas is “challenging but achievable”.
Concern has been raised over an increased maximum transfer time for patients requiring arterial treatment at one of the new centres of excellence for vascular surgery in Preston, Carlisle and Blackburn.
The concern follows the announcement that emergency vascular services at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary will be removed. Previously, the target for a patient receiving treatment has been within one hour, but the Vascular Clinical Advisory Group (VCAG) deemed 90 minutes as clinically acceptable given our geography.
Cath Galaska, director of service development for NWAS, said: “The Trust has discussed the maximum target time of 90 minutes for the transfer of patients requiring arterial treatment with VCAG, and believe this target is challenging but achievable.
“Performance data for transfers between Furness General Hospital to Royal Preston Hospital show that 95 per cent of these journeys were completed within 90 minutes.
“In the event that a patient’s condition deteriorates during the journey, they would be diverted to the nearest A&E Unit for stabilisation.”