Patients waiting 10 minutes for 999 calls to be answered

The Independent reports that some people dialling 999 are having to wait up to 10 minutes to get an answer. With no way for ambulance call handlers to know if the call is a life-threatening situation or not before they answer, staff have warned there is a chance some patients are coming to harm, or even dying, due to the delays.

One paramedic told The Independent: “The system is profoundly broken.”

Leaked data from West Midlands Ambulance Service shows on Monday afternoon this week, some patients had waited as long as 29 hours for an ambulance. And once an ambulance was sent out, 10 per cent of category three, or urgent but non-life threatening patients in the West Midlands so far this week were waiting almost 12 hours for an ambulance, with an average wait of five hours.

Full story in The Independent, 23 July 2021