Exclusive: Ambulance trust plunges well below targets of reaching most serious calls on time

Ambulances at Leeds General Infirmary Jubilee Wing.
Ambulances at Leeds General Infirmary Jubilee Wing.
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AMBULANCE response times to the most serious incidents have plunged well below national targets in Leeds.

National guidelines say paramedics should be attending 75 per cent of the most serious ‘red’ emergency call-outs within eight minutes.

But in one part of Leeds, the north of the city, Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) managed just 55 per cent last month.

The trust claims its dramatic dip in performance came during an “unprecedented” spike in demand, with numbers of red call-outs surging by 18 per cent.

Figures released by YAS to a Leeds City Council health scrutiny panel also showed its on-time response to red calls regionally was 60.61 per cent.

Paul Mudd, director of operations for West Yorkshire at YAS, said that the service dealt with an extra 4,500 ‘red’ calls in December. He said: “December saw unprecedented levels of demand in Yorkshire and the Humber with total demand for emergency ambulances up by almost four per cent.”

Across the county, YAS had been responding to 72.15 per cent of red call-outs in November within eight minutes before figures slumped to just 60.61 per cent last month. The trust claims its response times are now showing improvement.

In Leeds west, paramedics responded to around 56 per cent of December red calls within eight minutes, while in Leeds south and east, around 66 per cent were reached within that time.

Earlier this month, YAS apologised after an 88-year-old Alwoodley woman who suffered a suspected minor heart attack waited almost four hours for an ambulance.

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