Ambulances in North East quickest in UK - here’s how long residents wait
Every ambulance service in the UK missed target times in December 2022 - but those in the North East were the quickest of all.
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Ambulances in the North East are responding quicker than emergency services anywhere else in the country.
The NHS is under severe pressure this winter with urgent pleas sent to the public to only use 999 in emergencies as the health system's staff remains stretched.
In December, call-outs for the most serious of emergencies (category one) hit an all-time high of 101,999 nationwide - almost a fifth greater than the previous record set at 85,392. Meanwhile, call handlers answered more 999 calls last month than ever before at 1,013,489, which was up a fifth on the figure recorded before the pandemic in December 2019.
Ambulance services in every region of the UK missed target waiting times in December, but those in the North East were the quickest across the whole country.
The mean response time for ambulance call-outs in December 2022 in the North East was recorded at eight minutes and 51 seconds with 4,031 incidents responded to.
That time is almost 25 seconds faster than the second-quickest ambulance service in the West Midlands. The slowest mean response time was from South Western providers which took 13 minutes and 11 seconds to reach an incident.
NHS National Medical Director, Professor Sir Stephen Powis, said: “As staff responded to record A&E attendances, 999 calls and emergency ambulance call outs as the ‘twindemic’ lead to unprecedented levels of respiratory illness in hospital, they also continued to deliver for patients with more people than ever before receiving diagnostic tests and cancer treatment.
“These figures show just how hard our staff are working, not only in the face of extreme pressure but also in bringing down the covid backlogs and checking more people for cancer than ever before in one month.
“The NHS will keep its foot on the accelerator to continue to make progress on the covid backlog and hospitals have today been asked to ensure anyone waiting longer than 18 months has their treatment booked in before March.
“While services continue to be pressured, it’s important the public continue to play their part by using the best services for their care – using 999 in an emergency and otherwise using 111 online and by getting their vaccinations if eligible.”