Figures show hour-long ambulance wait

The GMB union says Yorkshire Ambulance Service need more staff and vehicles
The GMB union says Yorkshire Ambulance Service need more staff and vehicles

A stricken patient was forced to wait for over an hour for an ambulance, according to new figures obtained by The Scarborough News.

A Freedom of Information request to the York Health Trust shows that the unnamed individual was left waiting with a potentially life-threatening condition for an hour and five minutes,.

The trust have attributed the delay to ‘high demand’ for ambulances, and they blamed high demand for seven of the ten longest delays in the period for which these figures are available, April 2009 and March 2012.

The figures show that one patient was left waiting in the heart of Scarborugh for over 41 minutes after the ambulance crew decided to deal with another accident that happened afterwards.

Another patient was left for 33 minutes due to “extreme weather”, and one patient was left waiting for just under 35 minutes after the ambulance crew were unable to locate them.

Defending the figures, Vince Larvin, Locality Director for North Yorkshire at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said: “We would like to reassure members of the public that our priority is to reach all patients calling upon us for assistance as quickly as possible wherever they may be.

“As with all ambulance services covering vast rural areas like North Yorkshire, the geography and sparsely dispersed population present particular challenges in responding to emergencies. We also continue to see an increase in demand for our services across the region which is particularly noticeable in coastal areas during the busy summer months.

“However, we have seen a year-on-year increase in our response times in the Scarborough and Filey areas and, as part of our commitment to making further improvements, will continue to work with our healthcare and community partners to ensure that local people receive the best possible care.

“Response times are not the only measure of our service and we are very proud of the high quality clinical care that we provide to patients.”