Improvements in ambulance times

North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust Ambulance
North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust Ambulance

Ambulances are responding to more 999 calls on time - but they have not met their targets for a full year now.

North West Ambulance Service aims to respond to 75 per cent of “red one” and “red two” calls in eight minutes.

But new figures for April show they answered 70.08 per cent of red one calls in the North West and 68.94 per cent of red two calls in that time.

That compares to 65.64 and 63.44 per cent in March.

The target is to respond to 95 per cent of red calls in 19 minutes. In April, they met 92.54 per cent, a rise from 90.23 per cent in March.

While below the targets, the performances for April were higher than they have been for some time. It is now a full calendar year since the three standards were met.

In Wigan, they responded to 70.45 per cent of red one calls and 68.84 per cent of red two calls in eight minutes.

The information, from a report for NHS Wigan Borough CCG’s governing body, also show 11.95 per cent of patients waited for more than 30 minutes to be handed to hospital staff when they arrived at Wigan Infirmary.

That was an improvement on 20.58 per cent in March.

An ambulance service spokesman said: “Emergency calls are still coming in thick and fast across the North West, including the Wigan borough, and we are pleased that there has been an improvement in our ambulance response figures. We continue to work very closely with our partners within the NHS to provide the best possible response for our patients and are always looking into ways that we can improve further.”

Dr Tim Dalton, chairman of NHS Wigan Borough CCG, said: “The whole system is working hard to make sure we continue to see progress in both these areas. However, there isn’t a quick fix because lots of different things need to work effectively to make a difference. This includes making sure that calls are prioritised right, patients are taken to the best place, the hospital is able to admit patients quickly and that patients can be discharged from hospital in a timely manner.

“We have met with NWAS and the hospital to review all of these elements to understand how collectively we can continue to improve the response and handover times and to develop a clear improvement action plan.”