Ambulance waits for heart attack and stroke patients in December were nearly two hours for an unlucky ten per cent, says Banbury Labour
Nearly 3,000 patients with conditions like heart attacks and strokes waited more than 1 hour 53 minutes for an ambulance in December, the party’s leader on Cherwell District Council, Sean Woodcock, said.
“Our new analysis reveals across South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) 2,964 patients with emergency conditions had to wait 1 hour and 53 minutes for an ambulance in January. The target is 18 minutes,” he said.
In its new analysis, the party says across the country, 37,000 people with emergency conditions such as suspected strokes or heart attacks, had to wait more than 3 hours 40 minutes for an ambulance in December.
SCAS’s average response time for ‘Category 2 ambulance calls’ was 54 minutes, while one in ten patients in this category waited 1 hour 53 minutes or longer. (Category 2 is for “emergency calls” – for conditions such as heart attacks and strokes. Cardiac arrests are Category 1).
Mr Woodcock said: “Thousands are waiting hours for an ambulance when it should be there in minutes. After 13 years of Conservative failure the terrifying truth is that patients in Banbury can no longer rely on the NHS being there for them in an emergency. Heart attack and stroke victims are left waiting and waiting when every second counts.
“But Labour has a plan. The next Labour government will provide the biggest expansion of NHS staff in history to treat patients on time again and reform the health service to make it fit for the future.
"We will train 7,500 more doctors and 10,000 more nurses and midwives every year, paid for by abolishing the non-dom tax status. Patients in Banbury need doctors and nurses more than the wealthiest need a tax break.”
Mark Ainsworth, Director of Operations at SCAS, said: “Increased pressures on ambulance services reflect the difficulties facing the whole health and social care system, particularly at busy hospitals where challenges handing over patients impacts the availability of our crews. Due to this, some patients are unfortunately having to wait longer for an ambulance response than the nationally set targets.
“While performance at SCAS for Category 2 calls remains the third quickest of all English ambulance trusts at 54 minutes and significantly below the average response time in England for December of just under 93 minutes, this is in the context of all ambulance services missing all targets which demonstrates the scale of the issues being faced nationwide.
“We continue to work extremely hard within our own service and with our partners to provide as much resilience in the system as we can to limit delays and ask the public to continue to help us manage the pressures we are under by only calling 999 for life-threatening emergencies and using 111 online in the first instance for urgent medical advice where appropriate to do so.”
The number waiting 1 hour 53 minutes or longer is derived from the 90th percentile for Category 2 ambulance response times. This means 10 per cent of patients waited this long or longer.