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Ambulance Quality Indicators

 
 
  • Since April 2011, all ambulance trusts in England have been measured and reporting against 11 ambulance quality indicators (AQIs), which allow our performance to be compared with that of other services across the country.  The indicators are split into ambulance systems and clinical outcomes

 

  • Ambulance system indicators consider the way in which we answer and manage responses to all emergency calls coming into the Trust, whilst clinical outcome indicators consider the care that we deliver to some of the most seriously unwell patients that we attend.  Further details on each indicator can be found below and on the NHS England website

 

  • Whilst response times are still an important part of the AQIs and the current target of responding to at least 75% of Red1 and Red2 (immediately life-threatening) patients within 8 minutes remains, the Trust welcomes the greater focus of clinical outcomes for our patients

 

  • The Department of Health collate performance information against the AQIs for each ambulance Trust on a monthly basis.  This is published on a national dashboard.  (Please note that due to the complexity of drawling the clinical data together, it will be three months in arrears from the non-clinical data)

Clinical Outcome Indicators

  • Outcome from acute ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI – a type of heart attack)
    This indicator requires ambulance services to ensure delivery of rapid assessment and treatment for patients experiencing this type of heart attack, as this is crucial to the cardiac care pathway which aims to restore coronary blood flow thereby improving patient outcome 
  • Outcome from cardiac arrest - return of spontaneous circulation
    This indicator will measure how many patients who are in cardiac arrest but following resuscitation have a pulse (heartbeat) on arrival at hospital
  • Outcome from cardiac arrest - survival to discharge
    Following on from the second indicator, this one will measure the rate of those who recover from cardiac arrest and are subsequently discharged from hospital 
  • Outcome following stroke for ambulance patients
    This indicator will require ambulance services to measure the time it takes from the 999 call to the time it takes those F.A.S.T-positive stroke patients to arrive at a specailist stroke centre, so that they can be rapidly assessed for treatment known as thrombolysis

 

 

Ambulance System Indicators

  • Re-contact rate following discharge of care (i.e. closure with telephone advice or following treatment at the scene)
    If patients have to go back and call 999 a second time, it is usually because they are anxious about receiving an ambulance response or have not got better as expected. Occasionally it may be due to an unexpected or a new problem.  To ensure that ambulance trusts are providing safe and effective care the first time, every time, this indicator will measure how many callers or patients call us back within 24 hours of the initial call being made
  • Call abandonment rate
    This indicator will ensure that we and other ambulance services are not having problems with people phoning 999 and not being able to get through
  • Time to answer calls
    It equally important that if people/patients dial 999 that they get call answered quickly. This indicator will therefore measure how quickly all 999 calls that we receive get answered
  • Service experience
    All ambulance services will need to demonstrate how they find out what people think of the service they offer (including the results of focus groups and interviews) and how we are acting on that information to continuously improve patient care.
  • Category A 8 minute response time
    This indicator measures the speed of all ambulance responses to the scene of potentially life-threatening incidents and measures that those patients who are most in need of an emergency ambulance gets one quickly
  • Time to treatment by an ambulance-dispatched health professional
    It is important that if patients need an emergency ambulance response, that the wait from when the 999 call is made to when an ambulance-trained healthcare professional arrives is as short as possible, because urgent treatment may be needed

 

 

How to use the AQI dashboard

Click on the link above to open the dashboard.  The document will open as an Excel spread-sheet (if you get an error message when opening it regarding Trusted Sources, please click 'yes')– please click 'Enable Content' when prompted at the top of the screen to enable you to see all the information.  A map of the UK will then be shown – simply click on the South East Coast area to take a look at our latest data or click on the narrative tab on the right hand side of the page with the map to see charts and narrative in regard to our performance. This information will open as a PDF document outside of the Dashboard document.

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