A new investigation by the BBC has revealed that 1 in 16 category two ambulance call-outs are experiencing significant, life-threatening delays.

Delays are being blamed on under-funding of the NHS, putting pressure not only on the ambulance service itself, but the many other areas of health provision that impact on the service.

Bed shortages, problems with social care and Accident and Emergency pressures all mean that there are increasing delays in handing over emergency patients on arrival at Accident and Emergency.

Consequently, whilst category one patients in immediate life-threatening danger continue to experience prompt service, category two patients, such as heart attack, stroke and burns victims, can experience waits of well over an hour before emergency services arrive.

According to the NHS targets, set in 2017, category two call-outs should be responded to within an average time of 18 minutes.

Following a Freedom of Information request, the data received by the BBC showed that, between January 2018 and September 2019, more than 4000 category two call-outs per week took more than one hour before the patient was reached.

The East Midlands service appeared to be under most pressure with more than 12% of category two patients suffering an excessive wait for the ambulance service to arrive.

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