South Central Ambulance Service Response Times Soar for Most Urgent Calls


South Central ambulance service response times for the most serious incidents, e.g. cardiac arrest, increased to almost 9 minutes in December, 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 calls in South Central worsened further, with patients across the area being left to wait even longer when they called an ambulance.  

Wait times for Category 1 calls in South Central reached highs of 8 minutes 46 seconds in December, well over the NHS target set. 

In addition, urgent Category 2 callouts have worsened in South Central, with the average wait time in December of 32 minutes 49 seconds. This is a 23% percentage increase on November waiting times. 

The standard wait time for a “Category 1” incident should be no longer than 7 minutes due to the urgency of the matter, meaning the wait times are well in excess of NHS targets. Similarly, 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, Lee Dillon, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for Newbury, 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 Conservatives have taken Newbury for granted for decades and now we’re seeing local patients and families pay the price.

“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.”

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