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Wales has slowest ambulance response

10th June 2010

Wales has the slowest ambulance response times to emergency calls in the UK.

Figures show that the average response time for an ambulance in Wales is eight minutes 47 seconds, compared to a target of eight minutes.

The Welsh Ambulance Service Trust acknowledged more work was needed but said improvements had been made and in April, 70% of emergency responses arriving within eight minutes.

The Welsh Assembly government said ambulance service performances could not easily be compared due to the different geography and demography of the UK.

Fastest responses in 2009 were in London and the south east of England with an average response time of six minutes and 22 seconds for category A emergency calls.

The Welsh Ambulance Service Trust said: "In 2007 we introduced the five-year 'time to make a difference' modernisation programme to meet these challenges head on and improve our service to the people of Wales.

"Welsh Assembly Government-funded automatic vehicle locating system technology has improved the effectiveness of our response to life-threatening and serious emergencies, and the introduction of new initiatives has also helped improve the appropriateness of our response.”

Health Minister Edwina Hart said staff were doing all they could, but there were underlying issues including fluctuating performance due to seasonal pressures, overworked staff and sickness.

A Welsh Assembly Government spokesperson said: "Performance of the ambulance services across the UK cannot be easily compared given the different geography and demography and its impact on service delivery.”

In Scotland, the average response time was seven minutes and 12 seconds in 2009.


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Article Information

Title: Wales has slowest ambulance response
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 15102
Date Added: 10th Jun 2010


BBC News

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