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Welsh Ambulance Service on target again during busiest month on record

The Welsh Ambulance Service responded to nearly half of all calls to people with an immediately life-threatening illness or injury within just six minutes in February 2016, new figures published today show.
The performance comes despite February being the joint busiest month since monthly reporting began 10 years ago. Emergency and urgent healthcare services across Wales have experienced exceptionally high levels of demand during both January and February.
February was also the fifth month in a row that the Welsh Ambulance Service has exceeded the target of responding to 65% of life-threatening emergency calls – known as red calls – within eight minutes.
 
The target has been achieved every month since the service started a year-long pilot to test a new clinical response model in October 2015, which is designed to ensure patients get the right type of emergency response for their needs.
 
The figures for February show 65.8% of emergency responses to red calls arrived within eight minutes and almost 71.3% of calls receiving a response in nine minutes.
 
During February:
 
  • There were 37,560 emergency calls, an average of 1,295 per day - the joint highest (with December 2014) since monthly data collection started in 2006;
  • The average number of emergency calls received every day in February was 1.2% higher than the daily average for January 2016;
  • A total of 1,801 red calls were received, an average of 62 a day – two more than in January;
  • Average daily calls have risen from less than 1,000 a day in 2006 to almost 1,300 a day in February 2016, an increase of 35%;
  • Despite the high level of demand, the average response time to red calls was six minutes and two seconds;
  • There were 54 calls to the ambulance service on average every hour;
  • More than 30% of red calls received a response in just four minutes.
 
Deputy Health Minister, Vaughan Gething said:
 
“The Welsh Ambulance Service has again exceeded the eight-minute response time target in February for life-threatening calls in the face of exceptionally high demand.
 
“The vast majority of people who needed an immediate emergency response received one in less than eight minutes – with almost half of all red calls receiving a response within just six minutes.
 
“The new clinical response model is providing fast responses to people who need an immediate intervention from our emergency ambulance crews.”