West Midlands Ambulance Service response times struggled in December as 'NHS remains under severe pressure' - The Solihull Observer

West Midlands Ambulance Service response times struggled in December as 'NHS remains under severe pressure'

Solihull Editorial 19th Jan, 2022   0

WEST Midlands Ambulance Service continued to struggle with response times last month as long hospital handovers remained.

In December crews took an average of eight minutes and 19 seconds to respond to category one calls – the most serious type of incident including cardiac arrest – an increase on November’s time which was eight minutes and 13 seconds.

Ambulance Trusts like West Midlands Ambulance Service University NHS Foundation Trust (WMAS) have an NHS target to get to half the category one calls in seven minutes and 90 per cent in 15 minutes.

The target response time for half of the category two calls, for those suffering from sepsis or major burns, is 18 minutes and 40 minutes for 90 per cent of these calls.

WMAS responded on average 48 minutes and 19 seconds to these calls in December compared to 39 minutes and 25 seconds in November.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: “The whole of the NHS remains under severe pressure which is being felt intensely in our service in the West Midlands and unfortunately, long hospital handover delays do mean some patients are waiting longer for an ambulance to come to them in the community than we would want.

“We are working with all local partners across the health and care system to reduce delays so crews can respond to the next incident as quickly as possible, and staff and volunteers continue to work tirelessly to respond as soon as we can.

“We are also continuing to bolster frontline and control room staffing and have introduced a number of measures to help manage pressures in the service.”

The Trust is currently recruiting hundreds of additional call handlers and frontline clinicians who respond to incidents.

And earlier this month WMAS put a call out to former staff members to to come back to the NHS family as part of additional measures to help with increasing Covid-19 infections.

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