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.

Ambulance Response Programme (ARP) measures

Category 1 (purple) life-threatening: - 7 minute mean response time, and 15 minute response 9 out of 10 times (90th percentile)

Category 2 (amber) Emergency: - 18 minute mean response time and 40 minute response 9 out of 10 times (90th percentile)

Category 3 (yellow) Urgent: two hour response time 9 out of 10 times (90th percentile)

Category 4 (green) Less urgent: three hour response time 9 out of 10 times (90th percentile)

The Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) priorities emergency calls using Medical Priority Dispatch Systems (MPDS) into one of the four categories above. From this categorisation the EOC decides what kind of response is required and whether an ambulance is dispatched. Dependent on the response required, they may send a rapid response vehicle (RRV) equipped to provide treatment at the scene of an accident, or a traditional emergency ambulance or an urgent care service vehicle. It may be determined that a response to the emergency is not required and call be dealt with over the phone using self-help and referring to another service like a GP or 111. 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.

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.

Non-emergencies

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.