Shocking figures have unveiled the local areas in England with the longest ambulance delays, revealing a stark ‘postcode lottery’ for response times to life-threatening calls.
Potential heart attack and stroke victims in the South West are waiting an average of fifty-eight minutes for paramedics to arrive.
The figures, uncovered by the Liberal Democrats through Freedom of Information requests, reveal how patients whose lives are in immediate danger are waiting on average for almost eleven minutes, nearly sixty per cent longer than the Government’s Category 1 target of seven minutes, and over three times as long as the Category 2 target of eighteen minutes in the South West.
The South West is a particularly badly affected area. Of all the regions in England, twenty of the worst sixty areas were in the South West for Category 1 calls and twenty-five of the worst sixty areas for Category 2 calls as well.
The Liberal Democrats are calling for an urgent five point plan to support ambulance services this winter.
Wera Hobhouse, Liberal Democrat MP for Bath, commented:
“These heart-breaking figures show that all across the South West and the country, targets are being missed and patients are being left waiting far too long for an ambulance to arrive.
“This stark postcode lottery means that if you suffer a heart attack or stroke, your chances of getting to hospital on time depend on where you happen to live. If you live in London the chances of an ambulance reaching you in time are higher than if you are from the South West. It is a scary reality and this Conservative Government is to blame.”