Ambulance services: 16 emergency calls to 999 per minute

Thursday, 31 July, 2014

Figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) show that ambulance trusts dealt with an average of 16.1 emergency calls per minute (23,216 on average per day) in 2013-14.

Today’s Ambulance Services, England: 2013-14 report shows 8.47 million emergency calls were made to 999 in 2013-14 overall, an average of 16.1 calls per minute. This is a 0.8 per cent decrease compared to the previous year (8.54 million)(2). Ambulance Services can also receive emergency calls via the 111 service.

Emergency vehicles responded to 6.33 million calls; 95.1 per cent (6.02 million) were responses to a 999 emergency call and 4.9 per cent (309,260) were in response to a call from the 111 service.

Of all calls that required an emergency vehicle just under half (45.4 per cent or 2.87 million) were classed as Category A (urgent)(3). Of these, 4.7 percent (135,240) were Red 1 emergencies (the most urgent) and 95.3 per cent (2.74 million) were Red 2 (serious but less urgent)(4).

The national agreed standard for Category A calls is for emergency response vehicles to arrive on the scene within eight minutes in 75 per cent of cases. In 2013-14, emergency services arrived within eight minutes for 75.6 per cent of Red 1 calls and 74.8 per cent of Red 2 calls.

Of the 11 ambulance trusts, three failed to achieve the eight minute response time for Red 1 calls and four trusts failed to achieve this for Red 2 calls. East Midlands and East of England Ambulance Trusts failed to meet the targets for both Red 1 and Red 2 calls(5).  

You can find the full report at 

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