North West ambulance service response times soar

North West ambulance service response times for the all types of incidents are getting longer, new Ambulance Service Statistics have revealed. 

The statistics, released from NHS England, show that average wait times for serious incidents have worsened in every region in England over the past month, failing to meet both the Category 1 and Category 2 callout times.

Locally, the statistics show that when comparing November to last month, ambulance wait times for the very worse incidents got fell by 3% with patients across the area being left to wait even longer when they called an ambulance.  

Very worryingly, urgent Category 2 callouts have worsened further with the average wait time in December of over an hour, this is 36% worse in December than it was in November. A category 2 call out is: “A serious condition, such as stroke or chest pain, which may require rapid assessment and/or urgent transport

The NHS target for “Category 2” is 18 minutes, meaning almost all of the most urgent calls for ambulance services are being missed. 

Liberal Democrats are calling for the Government to commission an investigation by the Care Quality Commission without further delay.

Responding to the new figures, Liberal Democrat Group Leader Councillor Michael Powell said:  

“It is disastrous that our local NHS services are under such severe pressure. We need real investment in our area with a plan from the Government. 

“The Government needs to step up and stop taking our area for granted. Health service wait times across the board are struggling, our local health staff are under immense pressure, and it looks like things are getting even worse.” 

NHS England’s Ambulance Quality Indicators, published on 13 January 2022, are available here.

These figures refer to Category 1 incidents: An immediate response to a life threatening condition, such as cardiac or respiratory arrest.

The NHS target is an average response time to these incidents of 7 minutes, and for 90% of them to be responded to within 15 minutes.

The NHS target for Category 2 is 18 minutes.

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