South West has the longest ambulance wait times in the country

Life-threatening response times are 67% higher than the 7 minute target.

Ambulances queuing outside a hospital at nighttime on 15th May 2022

The latest data from NHS England shows the South West has some of the longest ambulance waiting times in the country.

The data, published on Thursday, shows the South West has the longest wait times for category 1 and category 2 calls.

In April, the average response time to category 1, life-threatening and needing immediate intervention and/or resuscitation, calls was 11mins 45secs – 67% higher than the target of 7 minutes.

Category 2 calls which have a target response time of 18 minutes had an average response time of 1hr 20mins.

Ambulances queuing at hospitals across the region is now a familiar sight as shown by Faye’s tweet from Derriford Hospital last night, Sunday 15th May.

UNISON South West regional secretary Joanne Kaye said:
“Lengthy delays are causing much distress to ambulance crews and control room staff. They can’t respond as quickly as they would like to emergency calls. Staff are increasingly concerned that pressures on the system are compromising their codes of conduct.

“Shortfalls in the social care system are also adding to the problem. With no other support available, staff attending vulnerable elderly patients often have no option but to take them to hospital. They are then left queueing outside hospitals, preventing crews from getting back on the road to deal with the next emergency.”

Photo Credit: @Faye_Shepherd on Twitter