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Emergency response times fall short of target in North West

August 11, 2016 4:59 PM

Patients in the North West in a critical condition are consistently left waiting longer than the recommended waiting time for an emergency response, figures released today reveal. South Lakes MP Tim Farron has called for the Ambulance Service to be given the funding needed to ensure it can reach patients before it is too late.

Over the last six months, the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) has fallen significantly short of the government's target emergency response time for the most serious cases. 'Red 1 and 'Red 2' are defined as "life-threatening" incidents, with 'Red 1' indicating the most urgent cases. The government requires that 75% of these cases receive an emergency response within 8 minutes.

In both cases, the NWAS has failed to meet these targets over the last six months. Only 72% of Red 1 cases were reached by emergency responders within 8 minutes - below the government's target. For red 2 cases, the figures are even worse. Just 64% of incidents were reached within 8 minutes - well short of the government's target of 75%.

The NWAS is also failing to meet targets for ambulances to arrive to transport patients. The government guidelines state that an ambulance should arrive within 19 minutes in 95% of cases. However, NWAS has managed this in just 90% over the last six months.

Tim said: "A quick response in an emergency situation can mean the difference between life and death. It is worrying to see that here in the North West, emergency responses are consistently taking longer to arrive than they should.

"I hear all too often from constituents who have faced unacceptable waits for an ambulance to arrive. All emergencies require a response, whether they are in a village in rural Cumbria or the middle of a big city.

"The government must provide the ambulance service with the funding it needs to ensure no-one is put at risk because they are beyond the reach of an ambulance."