New ambulance standards will save more lives

13 July 2017


NHS England has announced a new set of performance targets for ambulance services which will apply to 999 calls for the first time.

Ambulances will now be expected to reach the most seriously ill patients in an average time of seven minutes.

Call handlers will also change the way they assess cases and will have slightly more time to decide the most appropriate clinical response.

The roll-out also introduces mandatory response time targets for all patients who dial 999. Currently, half of all ambulance calls, around five million a year, are classed as “green” and not covered by any national target.


Responding to the rollout of the Ambulance Response Programme to every ambulance service in England, the director of development and operations at NHS Providers, Ben Clacy, said:

“These new standards will allow ambulance services to save more lives. They have been extensively trialled on the front line, and shown to improve the way ambulances are deployed, providing an even faster response for those in greatest need, and fewer delays for other patients.

It is a great credit to ambulance services that they have engaged with this challenge in such a positive way.

“Ambulance services have been coming under great pressure in the face of growing demand. It is a great credit to them that they have engaged with this challenge in such a positive way, resulting in improvements that will be of enormous value for patients and the wider NHS.”

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