York & North Yorkshire

Yorkshire Ambulance failing on rural response times

The Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) is failing to meet national targets on response times in rural North Yorkshire.

Figures for this year show the service is only reaching 57% of call-outs within eight minutes in Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby.

The national target is to reach 75% of emergency calls within that time.

YAS said new ambulance stand-by points and working more closely with GPs would deliver significant improvements.

The service, which covers the whole of the Yorkshire region, is only failing to meet targets in this part of rural North Yorkshire.

Improvement 'opportunity'

Vince Larvin, from the YAS, said new initiatives to improve response times had been developed with the Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

Mr Larvin added: "It really is quite a challenge but it is not insurmountable and we do now have a great opportunity to improve things.

"We are working with them to maximise the resources we have and that means doing things differently and steering our resources into more community-based projects."

Additional ambulance stand-by points at Catterick, Bedale and Richmond to reduce the time it takes to reach patients will be operational before the winter, he added.

Other schemes will see some paramedics based in surgeries to respond to local emergency calls and recruiting more community first responders.

Ambulance staff responding to an emergency will also be able to call the patient's GP, or take them to the surgery, if they judge they do not need urgent hospital treatment.

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