Callout time targets not hit by service

HEALTH bosses have acknowledged the “distress” caused to injured and ill residents after research revealed ambulances in Rotherham are failing to hit target response times for potentially life-or-death callouts.

New figures found for “Category One” calls involving life-threatening injuries, ambulance crews in Rotherham had an average response time of nine minutes and 36 seconds — way outside the target of seven minutes.

In Category Two — serious conditions such as stroke or heart attack — the response time in the borough was nearly twice the target of 18 minutes — at 34 minutes and 57 seconds.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The data, obtained by the Liberal Democrats through Freedom of Information requests, covers 227 local areas in England, with not a single area achieving the target for both Category One and Two calls.

All but two areas were failing to reach the 18-minute target for Category Two, while 83 per cent missed the seven-minute target for Category One.

Potential heart attack and stroke victims in the worst hit areas of the country are now waiting an average of one hour and 40 minutes for paramedics to arrive.

The Liberal Democrats called for an “urgent five point plan” to support ambulance services, including a long-term strategy to improve social care, free up hospital beds and cut ambulance wait times outside hospitals.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Andy Pippin, head of A&E operations for South Yorkshire at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said: “All NHS trusts are experiencing a protracted period of operational pressures and unfortunately this means there are patients who are facing delays.

“We are very sorry that we are unable to respond to them as quickly as we would like to.

“This has been exacerbated by handover delays at a number of busy hospitals across the region, and we continue to work closely with our partners to address this issue and try to minimise delays to improve patient care and experience, as well as reduce waiting times for those needing an emergency ambulance response in our communities.

“We continue to monitor the situation closely and thank all our hard-working staff and volunteers for their efforts at this challenging time.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Dr David Crichton, chief medical officer at NHS South Yorkshire, said: “The NHS continues to experience significant pressure, which is having an impact on the ambulance waiting times across the country.

“I acknowledge the distress that this can cause to residents across South Yorkshire when they need urgent support and we are working with our hospitals and Yorkshire Ambulance Service to turn ambulances around as quickly as possible.

“We have plans in place for tackling the increased pressure over the busy winter period, which includes ways to help reduce ambulance handover and waiting times across South Yorkshire.

“It is also important the public know what they need to do to keep well this winter and where to get expert advice.

You can find advice at