Ambulance response targets for life-threatening calls missed in all Devon

Devonlive reports today that the target for ambulances responding to life-threatening calls is now being missed in all of Devon’s seven local districts. Patients in Mid Devon waited an average of over 15 minutes for life-threatening calls in 2021, longer than anywhere else in the county. Category 1 calls cover the most serious incidents such as a cardiac arrest or heavy bleeding and should be responded to within an average of seven minutes.

The average waiting time for Category 2 calls in the county has more than doubled over the past year to 49 minutes, way above the target of 19 minutes.

The data was obtained by the Liberal Democrats from the South West Ambulance Trust through a Freedom of Information request.

Liberal Democrat Health spokesperson Daisy Cooper called for urgent action from the government to support ambulance services in rural areas like Devon. She said the Lib Dems have set out a rescue plan including more investment in local ambulance services, enabling trusts to bring back community ambulance stations in rural areas and launching a campaign to recruit and retain more paramedics.

Cooper said:

Behind these figures are heart-breaking stories of people waiting in fear for an ambulance to arrive when they or a loved one urgently need one. People across Tiverton and Honiton are rightly deeply worried by the state of local ambulance services. The Lib Dems are listening and have put forward a clear plan to fix this crisis, so that you can be sure an ambulance will arrive when you need one.

Lib Dem candidate for Tiverton and Honiton, Richard Foord said:

These figures show what our communities in Devon know already, health services here are being driven into the ground by years of Conservative neglect. Whether it’s waiting weeks to see a doctor or hours for an ambulance, it’s almost impossible to access health services when you need them.

For too long, Devon has been at the bottom of the national league table for ambulance waiting times. The election on 23rd June is a chance to tell this Conservative government that it’s time for a change. As your local MP, I will stand up for local health services and make sure people here are never taken for granted.

There are volunteer activities in the constituency over the next two weeks and regular Maraphone sessions for those that can’t get there.

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  • Steve Trevethan 10th Jun '22 - 8:30am

    Might it be worth inviting the head of the Devon Ambulance Services, Mr W Warrender and/or a board colleague to a public meeting to discuss the matter and seek improvements?

    Failing that, might a public meeting, to which an empty chair has been invited, create some incentivising publicity?

  • Jenny Barnes 10th Jun '22 - 10:19am

    “the nursing director of the West Midlands Ambulance Service admits that patients are “dying every day” because of delays, and predicts that his entire service will capsize within two months. “Around August 17 is the day I think it will all fail,” says Mark Docherty. ”

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