Dewsbury Labour parliamentary candidate, Paula Sherriff, has voiced alarm after figures revealed the average amount of time patients in Yorkshire and Humber have to wait for an emergency ambulance to arrive has shot up by 100 seconds in the space of a year.
Official NHS figure show that Category A ambulance callouts – where a life is threatened – are taking 414.6 seconds on average to reach patients in Yorkshire, compared to 314.4 seconds in May 2013 and 300 seconds in May 2012.
While there have also been increases across other regions, the extent of the rise in waiting time suffered in Yorkshire means our region has now gone above the national average response time -; an ambulance in Yorkshire will now take nearly half a minute longer to reach a Category A patient than the national average.
“These figures raise real concerns that lives are being put at risk by the chaos in the NHS, particularly for our region which has seen one of the highest increases in response times in the country.
“Hospital A&E departments have missed the Government’s waiting time target for the last 51 weeks running. This crisis in A&E has trapped ambulances in queues outside hospitals – leaving the next caller facing longer, agonising waits. More and more calls are being attended by police cars and even fire engines on David Cameron’s watch.
“For people who’ve suffered cardiac arrest or a stroke, every second counts and that is why this slump in standards cannot continue.
“Urgent action is needed from the Government to turn things around. Slower 999 response is yet another sign of an NHS heading in the wrong direction under this Government. Their failure to get a grip on the A&E crisis is now having a knock-on effect of the safety of our ambulance services. It is more proof that David Cameron simply can’t be trusted with the NHS.”