A&E 8min ambulance call outs decrease

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The percentage of life-threatening ambulance call outs responded to within eight minutes decreased over the past number of years in the west of the province, as the health service reported an increase in demand.

The amount of Category A call outs in the Western Local Commissioning Group increased from 7,989 in 2012/13, to 8,204 in 2013/14, to 9,248 in 2015/16.

During the same period the total number of calls responded to within eight minutes also increased, although more moderately from 5,330 in 2012/13, to 5,464 in 2013/14, to 5,539 in 2014/15.

However, due to the higher volume, the percentage of calls responded to within eight minutes decreased from 66.7 per cent in 2012/13, to 66.6 per cent in 2013/14, to 59.9 per cent in 2014/15.

That’s lower than the 67.5 per cent departmental target for each Local Commissioning Group area.

“Although the percentage of calls responded to within eight minutes reduced over this period, demand increased by 15.8 per cent so the number of calls which received a response within eight minutes increased.

“The Health and Social Care Board and the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service Health and Social Care Trust are working to improve ambulance response,” the Health Minister Simon Hamilton explained.