Skip to main content

Ambulance Services

Volume 455: debated on Monday 8 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the (a) average and (b) target response time is for ambulance attendance at the scene of an incident following a 999 call. (110256)

The Department does not collect information on the average response times to emergency calls by national health service ambulance trusts. The Department only centrally collects data, from NHS ambulance trusts, which allows response time standards to be monitored. The response time standards are as follows:

Category A / presenting conditions which may be immediately life threatening and which should be responded to within 8 minutes irrespective of location in 75 per cent. of cases. A fully equipped ambulance should attend incidents classified as category A within 19 minutes of a request being made for transport, 95 per cent. of the time;

Category B / presenting conditions which though serious are not immediately life threatening and should be responded to within 19 minutes in 95 per cent. of cases;

Category C / presenting conditions which are not immediately serious or life threatening—since 1 October 2004 local NHS organisations have had responsibility for managing and monitoring the ways in which local services respond to these calls,


GP Urgent Calls / as specified by a GP—to receive a response at scene within 15 minutes of the time stipulated by the GP, 95 per cent. of the time.

The data that the Department collects on ambulance response times are published on an annual basis in the statistical bulletin, Ambulance services, England. The most recent data are available in the Library and at