Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Are Ambulances Getting Slower?

In 2015 Totally Communications created an interactive map of ambulance response times in the UK. The Ambulance Response Times map shows the median response times for ambulances responding to 'life threatening calls' in every postcode area in the UK.

The map was created from Freedom of Information requests sent to each Ambulance Trust in the UK. The response times shown on the map are from 2011 to 2014. These times are now out of date. Fortunately the BBC has today released its own BBC Ambulance Response Times Map. The BBC's map was also created using data from Freedom of Information requests to get the times that ambulances take to reach patients.

The BBC's new map obviously provides more up-to-date information on local ambulance response times. It also means that we can compare the two maps to see where ambulance response times are getting faster and where they are becoming slower. The BBC says that Wells-next-the-Sea has the longest ambulance response rate in the UK. According to the BBC's map the average response time is 21 minutes 4 seconds in Wells-next-the-Sea. This is actually a significant improvement since 2014. On the Totally Communications map the response time for ambulances in the area was 29 minutes 4 seconds.

The second longest response time, according to the BBC map, was in Chichester (RH14). Here the average response time is 20 minutes 2 seconds. This is significantly longer than in 2014. The Totally Communications map shows a response time of 14 minutes 27 seconds. The BBC doesn't say which postcode area in the UK had the fastest ambulance response time but does note that urban areas tend to have faster response times than rural areas. Newham in London has an ambulance response time of 6 minutes 21 seconds. This is faster than the UK average of 7 minutes 41 seconds. The time is also a little faster than the response time in Newham in 2014, which was 7 seconds slower at 6 minutes 28 seconds.

You can find out how fast, on average, ambulances respond to emergency calls in your area by entering your postcode into the BBC's map. You can then see if this response time is an improvement on 2014 by entering your postcode into the ambulance response times map created by Totally Communications.

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