The 999 postcode lottery – the places in Lincolnshire where ambulance call outs take the longest – Lincolnshire Live
Patients in parts of Lincolnshire are waiting more than twice the recommended time for urgent ambulances.
According to statistics released under Freedom of Information laws, the average time it took an ambulance to respond to a “category one” call in Lincolnshire postcodes was nine minutes and 13 seconds in 2018/19.
A call is marked as “category one” if it is related to an immediately life threatening issue.
That can include things such as cardiac arrests and serious allergic reactions.
The average response time for these calls should be seven minutes – meaning overall our area is performing below the target.
However, the local statistics show that people in some postcodes shouldn’t expect a speedy ambulance response.
Some 36 out of 40 postcode areas in Lincolnshire had an average response time higher than seven minutes in 2018/19 – with rural areas particularly affected.
Postcode areas with the highest average wait for an ambulance were LN12 (322 calls which took 14 minutes and 39 seconds on average) and LN8 (176 calls which took 14 minutes and 26 seconds, on average).
They were followed by LN13 (14m 19s), NG33 (14m 19s) and LN7 (13m 36s).
On the other hand the areas with the fastest response times were the LN2 postcode (798 call outs to the East Midlands Ambulance Service, averaging 5m 32s), LN5 (663 call outs averaging 5m 51s), and LN1 (578 call outs averaging 6m 21s).
EMAS states that the response time or category 1 calls in January, February and March this year was eight minutes and 37 seconds – almost a minute faster compared to the same period last year.
Sue Cousland, general manager for Lincolnshire Division said: “We are measured on performance against the NHS England Ambulance Response Programme standards which are designed to provide the most appropriate clinical response to patients based on the information we receive.
“We are utilising additional funding agreed through the recent round of contract negotiation to support the appointment and training of new front line clinical staff.
“This has meant we have been fortunate to deploy an additional 60 new staff to the Lincolnshire Division since September 2018.
“We are continuing to train further new staff members who will be due to qualify during 2019.”
She added: “Today we announced that our latest CQC inspection found us to be ‘Outstanding’ for caring, with an overall rating of ‘Good’.
“This is a significant improvement on our previous assessment and tantamount to the hard work and skill of staff in the county.
“Working in a predominantly rural county does give us a number of daily challenges, however we continue to work hard on initiatives that will help assist us to further improve our position.”