Market Rasen’s seriously ill suffer long waits for help from NHS

Shocking figures have revealed how many people with life threatening conditions have had to wait longer than 30 minutes for an ambulance.

A Freedom of Information request submitted to East Midlands Ambulance Service revealed 148 people within a 12 mile radius of Market Rasen have had to wait more than half an hour for an ambulance in the past two years - even though they had life threatening conditions.

National performance standards set by the Department of Health for Category A emergencies state 75 per cent of cases involving patients in immediately life threatening circumstances should be reached within eight minutes and in 95 per cent of cases within 19 minutes.

The data revealed that around 20 per cent of patients suffering from a life threatening condition - such as a heart attack - had to wait more than eight minutes for attention.

National performance standards set by the Department of Health for category A emergencies state 75 per cent of cases involving patients in immediately life threatening circumstances should be reached within eight minutes and in 95 per cent of cases within 19 minutes.

In 2011-12 all trusts met or exceeded the 75 per cent standard for category A eight minute response times - including EMAS. Despite achieving 75.2 per cent, EMAS was still ranked bottom of 12 trusts.

An EMAS spokesman said: “The ambulance performance standards are annual targets measured across the whole area we serve. We have worked hard to improve our results and our year to date figure for category A8 life threatening conditions is above the national standard.

“The category A19 performance standard measures the time it takes for an ambulance to arrive on scene so a patient can be transported to hospital. In many cases, clinical support and life saving treatment is already being provided to the patient by ambulance staff who arrived on scene in a fast response vehicle.”

East Midlands Ambulance Service provides an emergency 999 service for 4.8m people.

The area covered by EMAS equates to about 6,425 square miles.

EMAS responds to more than 776,000 999 emergency calls annually.

More than 2,700 people are employed by EMAS.

All 999 calls to EMAS are received at Emergency Operations Centres in Lincoln and Nottingham.

East Midlands Ambulance Service responds to calls from people in Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Rutland, and Northamptonshire.