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Strained ambulance crews too slow to reach critical patients

Strained ambulance crews too slow to reach critical patients

Ambulance bosses are blaming rising demand and pressure in the system.

The number of hours A&E ambulance workers spend over the 15-minute allotted handover time in between cases has more than doubled from 17,413 hours in 2013/14 to 46,160 hours in 2015/16.

Stephen Harrhy, chief ambulance services commissioner for NHS Wales, who is responsible for reviewing its performance, explains how 999 calls are assessed and dealt with.

"This contributes to additional activity at hospital emergency departments". This is the equivalent of 286 crews not being able to respond to emergencies for a whole year, according to an investigation by the BBC.

A statement from the North West Ambulance Service said: "We are seeing more and more people in need of our services, especially for Red incidents for patients with serious and life-threatening conditions".