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December 1, 2016

Report: Strained UK ambulance crews too slow to reach patients

ENGLAND — Ambulance services are struggling to reach seriously ill and injured patients quickly enough after rising demand has left the system over-stretched, a BBC investigation has found.

Patients with life-threatening conditions — like cardiac arrests — are meant to be reached in eight minutes. But only one of the UK's 13 ambulance trusts is currently meeting its target. Ambulance bosses are blaming rising demand and pressure in the system.

Freedom of information requests by the BBC to ambulance trusts showed over 500,000 hours of ambulance crews' time in England, Wales and Northern Ireland was lost last year waiting for A&E staff to be free to hand over their patients to — a rise of 52 percent in two years.

Full story: Ambulances 'too slow to reach 999 calls'