Third of life-or-death 999 ambulance calls in England not attended by paramedic

Figures obtained by the Guardian show that one in three life-or-death 999 ambulance calls in some parts of England are not attended by a paramedic.

The disclosure has prompted fears that seriously unwell or badly injured patients may receive inadequate care from a less-qualified member of ambulance staff lacking a paramedic’s skills.

Healthwatch, the health and social care services watchdog, voiced concern that patients were facing a “postcode lottery” in their chances of being treated by a paramedic. The situation is being blamed on staff shortages across NHS ambulance services.

NHS ambulance trusts in England said they often did or did not send a paramedic to attend a category 1 call, the most serious type of call that involve life-threatening emergencies such as someone having collapsed, stopped breathing or gone into cardiac arrest.

Full article in the Guardian, 23 September 2023