Meeting our performance targets

Emergency ControlThere are currently 11 Ambulance NHS Trusts including NWAS. We assist people in life threatening and serious medical emergencies. We also provide a range of other urgent and planned healthcare and transport services.

As an ambulance trust, it is essential for us to constantly monitor our performance as it is a vital indicator of how well we respond to patient need and how we can ensure standards of care are not only maintained but continuously improved upon.

Call prioritisation

Emergency 999 calls are prioritised into one of two categories to ensure that the most life threatening cases receive the quickest response:

  • Red 1 - 75% within 8 minutes
  • Red 2 - 75% within 8 minutes
  • Category A19 - A patient carrying resource on scene within 19 minutes 95% of the time

Green calls are split into four categories; the following times under each green category are the DOCC Group recommendations to ambulance trusts and are not a national requirement (these have been agreed locally within NWAS):-

  • Green 1 - Response within 20 minutes
  • Green 2 - Response within 30 minutes
  • Green 3 - UCD Telephone assessment within 60 minutes
  • Green 4 - UCD Telephone assessment within 60 minutes or a vehicle response within 4 hours

The Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) decides what kind of response is needed and whether an ambulance is required. For both types of emergency, they may send a rapid response vehicle (RRV) equipped to provide treatment at the scene of an accident, or a traditional ambulance. Our Trust also uses Community First Responders (CFRs) to complement the ambulance response. CFRs provide basic first aid and life support at the scene until the ambulance arrives.

This year's targets

We will still be expected to reach the Government targets of:

  • 75 per cent of Red 1 Category A calls within eight minutes;
  • 75 per cent of Red 2 Category A calls within eight minutes; and
  • 95 per cent of Category A calls within 19 minutes.

Although we won't be formally reporting on response times to Green 1-4 calls, these will still be very closely monitored.

Ambulance services are not measured simply on time alone, but on how we treat patients and the outcomes of the treatment. We also report on our performance against the national set of 11 clinical quality indicators.The indicators allow us to identify areas of good practice and areas which need improvement.

Urgent calls

We also receive Urgent calls from GPs and other health professionals across the North West, requesting ambulance transport for their patients. The response to these calls is tailored to each individual patient's need as determined by the Doctor or health professional requesting the ambulance. For GP urgent calls, the ambulance service aims to arrive at hospital within 15 minutes of the time stipulated by the GP.

It is important to appreciate that although the patient is often termed an 'emergency admission' a GP may give the ambulance service two hours or more to carry out the journey and so it is not necessarily dealt with as a 999 call.


In addition to dealing with emergency care, we provide a range of other emergency, urgent & planned healthcare and transport services. This includes non-emergency Patient Transport Services (PTS). PTS is the provision of free transport for patients with a medical need for transport to, from and between healthcare providers.