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SW Ambulance defends worst response times

The South Western Ambulance Service Trust has defended itself after new figures revealed it had the worst response times to 999 calls in the country.

It blamed the rural nature of the South West for the fact that it missed the target of reaching seventy seven per cent of calls within eight minutes.

Miles Sibley from the Patients watchdog, Healthcare Devon, says target times shouldn't be the only measure...

West Country (E)

SW Ambulance misses response targets

The service narrowly missed its targets Credit: ITV News West Country

South Western Ambulance missed its emergency response targets in October.

An eight minute response time was only achieved for 71% of urgent calls - the minimum target is 75%.

An NHS Foundation Trust spokesperson said "Like all ambulance trusts around the country, the service is facing an ongoing increase in demand for its services meaning more calls to respond to and increasing numbers of patients requiring care.

"An additional challenge for the south west region is that it is predominantly rural, with many isolated communities."

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Ambulance unions unhappy with new contracts

Unions representing ambulance staff in the region say they're disappointed the contract to provide non emergency patient transport has been awarded to a private company.

From October, NSL will take responsibility for non emergency patient transport in Somerset, Cornwall and most of Devon. The new contract will run seven days a week instead of five, but UNISON says it's worried:

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