Bishop of St Albans asks about ambulance response times

The Bishop of St Albans asked a question on bringing down ambulance response times on 11th May 2023, during a debate on financial resourcing of the NHS:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I welcome what His Majesty’s Government are doing to try to get on top of this very difficult problem. Will the Minister give us a little more information, particularly about ambulance services? In Hertfordshire, which is in my diocese, category 2 call-outs, for strokes and hearts attacks, should have an 18-minute response but the response is averaging two hours and six minutes at the moment. There is a great deal of anxiety among ordinary people when these things happen. When do we think that the money going to the ambulance service is going to bring response times down?

Lord Markham (Con, Department of Health and Social Care): I am pleased to say that the figures announced today show that response times are coming down. For category 1, the most serious, we achieved the 15-minute target for 90% of calls. We are moving in the right direction, albeit there is a lot more that needs to happen in this space. That is what the investment in 800 new ambulances is about, as well as the £200 million of funding. Most importantly, it is about making sure we have the right services in place. Some 50% of ambulance calls do not result in a trip to the hospital. There are fall services, which are often best placed to help, which will pick people up in their home.


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