COMPLAINTS are down and compliments are up for West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS).
Data published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre shows the Trust received 417 complaints last year – down from 471 in 2012-13.
Last year WMAS dealt with more than 965,000 emergency calls and almost 650,000 non-emergency journeys, which equates to around one complaint for every 4,454 patient contacts.
And the number of compliments has risen by almost seven per cent – from 911 the previous year to 972 in 2013/14.
Director of nursing and quality, Sue Green, said: “While one complaint is one too many, the figure is very small compared to the number of people the Trust helps.
“We do not want to receive complaints but we very much see it as a positive. The more we are able to interact with the public and learn from their views, the better the service will become.
“As a Trust we take any comments very seriously. In those cases where we did not perform at the level we would hope, we regularly carry out an investigation to see what lessons can be learnt.”
She added: “We have made numerous appeals for people to use the 999 service wisely but some people still call us with less serious conditions.
“In many cases it isn’t appropriate to send an ambulance so we get an experienced paramedic to speak to them and provide advice over the phone, refer them either to a minor injuries unit or their GP.
“Some patients are unhappy with this, however, for a service that is set up to deal with truly life-threatening conditions it has to be right we prioritise our resources in dealing with these time critical cases first.”