Ambulance response times revealed


Ambulance response times have been revealed by the union for ambulance staff.

The figures are categorised by types of calls. ‘Red 1’ calls are the most serious and time critical and ‘Red 2’ calls are serious but less time critical.

The service aims to respond to these calls within eight minutes at least 75 per cent of the time.

South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) staff responded to ‘Red 2’ calls within eight minutes in 73.9 per cent of cases between April 2013 to March 2014, a fall from 75.1 per cent the previous year.

However, paramedics responded to ‘Red 1’ calls within eight minutes in 76.8 per cent of cases, up from 75.1 per cent the previous year.

‘Red 1’ and ‘Red 2’ are calls are classified as immediately life threatening and require an emergency response with blue lights.

Rehana Azam, GMB National Officer for NHS staff, said cuts made by the government have increased demands on the 999 service.

A spokesperson for SECAmb said: “Ambulance response times are of course very important but it is vital that they are not used as the only indicator of any ambulance service’s performance.

“Along with all parts of the NHS and all ambulance services nationally, SECAmb has been and continues to be extremely busy. Recent months have seen above expected increases in demand, making meeting response times targets even more challenging for our staff.

“Despite this increase in calls our average response time for the most serious calls (Red 1 and Red 2) in 2013/14 was six minutes and 41 seconds.”