Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Two 999 People a Day Kept Waiting

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Two 999 People a Day Kept Waiting

Article excerpt

Byline: By Liz Hands

Paramedics have failed to reach 167 people with life-threatening injuries or illnesses within eight-minute targets because ambulance crews closer to the scene were on meal breaks, according to figures released exclusively to The Journal yesterday.

That means two people every day, classed as top priority category A emergencies, are being left waiting by the North-East Ambulance Service NHS Trust as a direct result of new regulations brought in on June 1 ( which give paramedics undisturbed meal breaks.

The figures, which cover 85 days from June 1 to August 24, were obtained through the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act.

Yesterday, John Hehir, the trust's FOI head, said the 167 incidents were only a small proportion of those responded to.

He said of 45,503 incidents responded to during that period, 8,085 had been classified Category A ( which NEAS should respond to in eight minutes 75% of the time, according to Government targets. …

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