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West Midlands Ambulance Service Response Times Soar for Most Urgent Calls

January 17, 2022 8:46 PM

West Midlands ambulance service response times for the most serious incidents, e.g. cardiac arrest, have increased to over 8 minutes in December compared to November, new Ambulance Service Statistics have revealed.

The statistics, released from NHS England, show that average wait times for serious incidents have worsened in every region in England over the past month, failing to meet both the Category 1 and Category 2 callout times.

Locally, the statistics show that when comparing November to last month, ambulance wait times for calls in the West Midlands worsened further, with patients across the area being left to wait even longer when they called an ambulance.

David at hospital

Wait times for Category 1 calls in the West Midlands reached 8 minutes and 19 seconds on average in December, well over the NHS target set.

In addition, urgent Category 2 callouts have worsened in the West Midlands, with the average wait time in December of 48 minutes and 19 seconds. This is a 23% percentage increase on November waiting times.

The standard wait time for a "Category 1" incident should be no longer than 7 minutes due to the urgency of the matter, meaning the wait times are well in excess of NHS targets. Similarly, the NHS target for "Category 2" is 18 minutes, meaning almost all of the most urgent calls for ambulance services are being missed.

Liberal Democrats are calling for the Government to commission an investigation by the Care Quality Commission without further delay.

Responding to the new figures, Bromsgrove Lib Dem Chair Dr David Nicholl said:

"It is disastrous that our local NHS services are under such severe pressure. We need real investment in our area with a plan from the Government.

"The Conservatives have taken the West Midlands for granted for decades and now we're seeing local patients and families pay the price.

"The Government needs to step up and stop taking our area for granted. Health service wait times across the board are struggling, our dedicated and hardworking local health staff are under immense pressure, and it looks like things are getting even worse."