Our 999 life-saver heroes on target

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Wigan’s paramedics are bucking the national trend by beating patient response time targets.

Some 78 per cent of the most serious Red 1 calls - where patients are not breathing or have no pulse - saw North West Ambulance Service paramedics at the scene within the desired eight minutes, exceeding the 75 per cent target.

Likewise, Red 2 calls, which include patients having as strokes or fits, saw 76 per cent responded to within eight minutes, above the target of 75. The trust narrowly missed its 95 per cent goal within 19 minutes for both types of calls by one per cent.

NWAS is well ahead of many other UK trusts, with only 66.5 per cent of Red 1 calls responded to within eight minutes nationally, and 58 per cent of Red 2s.

A spokesman said: “The service always strives to attend to every patient as quickly as possible. All 999 calls received are categorised based on the information given by the caller, to ensure that patients are prioritised on the basis of medical need, so those with life-threatening and potentially life-threatening conditions will receive a more urgent response.

“Year on year the trust has seen an unprecedented increase in 999 activity, which was not only seen during the usual high demand periods, such as winter, but increased throughout the whole year. To address this, the trust has looked at different ways of working and has introduced many initiatives such as community specialist paramedics, created community care pathways so patients can get the care they need closer to home without hospital admission, introduced frequent caller initiatives and launched public education campaigns. “Over the past year NWAS has also recruited more paramedics and emergency medical technicians and acquired additional vehicles to help meet demand.”