Review of 'amber' ambulance 999 calls underway

A review of the 'amber' category of ambulance calls is underway.

Since October 2015, the Welsh Ambulance Service have operated a traffic light system of call categorisation. Each call is given a colour: red for life threatening, amber for serious bit not life threatening and green for less serious incidents. Under this response model, only red calls have a target time.

Suspected stroke patients waiting up to ten hours for an ambulance.

Ever since the model came into force, the service has hit its target of getting to 65% of 'red' calls within eight minutes.

The latest monthly response time figures continue this trend, but only 5.5% of the total calls were graded as 'red'. Even so, 5.5% is still the highest since the new model was introduced.

The planned review of the 'amber' call category is being carried out by a team headed by the Chief Ambulance Services Commissioner, Stephen Harrhy.

This review will look at the balance between patient experience, staff welfare and clinical outcomes and the processes between health boards and the ambulance service for handling calls in the ‘amber’ category which have been the subject of recent scrutiny.

The new response model has transformed the way in which we deliver ambulance services in Wales but we recognise that more work needs to be done and regular reviews are vital to ensure we continue to provide the best possible service to patients.

– Chief Ambulance Services Commissioner, Stephen Harrhy.

The review is expected to complete by September 2018.