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Ambulance defects drop
9:30am Saturday 16th February 2013 in News
HEALTH bosses have said they are bringing down the number of out-of-action ambulances after figures showed a third were off the road during the winter period.
South Central Ambulance Service yesterday (SCAS) said 18 per cent of its fleet are not in service because of technical problems and maintenance.
New figures – from October 2012 to January 2013 – show 30.9 per cent of the county’s ambulances and 18.3 per cent of its response cars were off road.
In Buckinghamshire, 32.9 per cent were off road, 21.2 per cent in Berkshire and 20.2 per cent in Hampshire.
Trust spokesman Michelle Archer said “For a period of time at the end of last year we were seeing an increased number of vehicles off the road due to various faults.
“We have made improvements to our vehicle maintenance service which has meant that our vehicle off the road rate has now reduced.”
The service expects 20 to 25 per cent of its fleet to be off road at any one time, she said, and this is “similar at other ambulance trusts”.
The figures follow criticism of SCAS, after it failed to meet response time targets to get to three-quarters of the most urgent emergencies within eight minutes across large parts of Oxfordshire.