No Targets For Most Ambulance Calls

Targets for ambulance response times in Wales are going to be dropped - but not for life-threatening calls.

As part of the pilot, 999 calls will now be put into either a red, amber or green category.

The most serious calls will go into the 'red' meaning the ambulance service will still be working to the 8 minute target.

For amber and green there will be no time target...the operator who answers the phone will spend more time working out what type of care the caller needs instead.

Wales' Deputy Health Minister Vaughan Gething says...

'We're trying to make sure the difference between the amber category and the red one...is the red is a real life or limb situation and they'll be the ones getting an 8 minute response not the less serious amber calls.’

It's not just response targets that are changing - the Welsh Ambulance Service will also be answering 999 calls differently.

Instead of answering the call asking for an address they'll now be answering with 'what is the nature of this call?'

The old method is being called old fashioned as with new technology they already know where the call is coming from.

Richard Lee is a paramedic and says...

'If you dial 999 and you are suffering with a life threatening problem you won't notice any difference you will continue to receive the fastest response we can organise. ..

...but if you phone us with a less urgent problem you will find it will take our call handler a little longer to get the right information from you so you can get the response which is right for your condition.'

They're hoping this new way will help them to save resources by working out what type of care the caller needs quicker without deploying ambulances for no reason.

The changes will only be piloted for a year and will start this October.

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