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Oxfordshire ambulances worst in England for cardiac survival rates
OXFORDSHIRE'S ambulance service has the worst cardiac survival rate of all ambulance trusts in England.
The South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) has an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survival rate of 10.8 per cent.
The trust – which covers Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, and Hampshire – ranks bottom of 12 trusts.
London has the best survival rate in the country with 31.7 per cent of cases surviving.
It is the first time all ambulance services in England have measured the survival rate and the figures were published by the Department of Health.
South Central Ambulance Service said it was continuing to improve survival rates.
A spokesman added: “SCAS is aware of the real challenges that exist for all English ambulance services in obtaining reliable data on survival rates from cardiac arrest after patients are discharged from hospital.
“This means it’s hard to make direct performance comparisons until each ambulance service is able to get robust data back from all hospitals.
“SCAS is very focused on ensuring we work together with our partners in all our emergency departments to continue to improve cardiac arrest survival rates.”
County councillor Dr Peter Skolar, left, the chairman of the Oxfordshire Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC), said he did not think the figures were an accurate reflecton of how well the service was doing.
He said: “There is a very simple answer to this.
“The population SCAS serves has more elderly people.
“By 2016 we will have more over- 85s than under fives.
“The other problem we have got is that we don’t have enough (volunteer) first responders here.”
Volunteer community first responders (CFRs) aim to bridge the gap between the 999 call and an ambulance arriving with vital help, and can make the difference between life and death.
Every minute a cardiac arrest patient is left without first aid slices 10 per cent off their chances of survival.
Dr Skolar added: “First responders have defibriliators and they can actually save lives.
“I would query whether SCAS are performing badly because I don’t believe it.”