Delayed ambulances and not answering 999 calls quick enough - just two of the reasons a scandal-hit ambulance trust has been put into special measures.
A damning report into the South East Coast Ambulance Service (Secamb) - which covers Sussex, Surrey and North-East Hampshire - also found other serious concerns, including:
- Response times not meeting national targets.
- Patients giving up on calls for help, especially on weekends.
- Not enough staff, impacting on performance and fatigue.
- A culture of harassment and bullying of staff.
So what now for the troubled trust?
Andy Dickenson speaks to Ben Williams, Geraint Davies, acting chief executive of Secamb, Alan Thorne of the Care Quality Commission, David Liley of Healthwatch, and Nigel Sweet from Unison.
South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust would like to thank the public for their support and praise the efforts of its staff during a busy Christmas and New Year.
During the last two weeks of the year, Emergency Operations Centre staff received more than 50,000 999 calls across Kent, Surrey and Sussex – an average of approximately 3,000 calls every day.
The Trust’s NHS 111 centre staff have also had an extremely busy end to the year with call volume high with Christmas Day and Boxing Day being followed by a weekend.
Ambulance crews out on the road worked flat out to reach and treat those in most need as quickly as possible, while Patient Transport Service teams have also been at full stretch to get patients to appointments and back home following discharge from hospital.
The dynamic control will mean a vehicle's speed is restricted when it's not on an emergency. The fleet covers around 17 million miles across Surrey and Sussex each year. It's using a new system which limits a vehicle to sixty two miles an hour.
A supermarket chain has joined forces with the South East Coast Ambulance Service to install life saving equipment in its stores. It comes after a man collapsed and died of a heart attack outside a shop. Tom Savvides has this report.