Ambulances miss targets

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SEVERE winter weather and rising demands for care have been blamed by ambulance chiefs for the service’s failure to hit 999 targets again.

In 73.7 per cent of emergency cases patients in the region were reached within eight minutes of calling for help in 2010-11, according to the latest official figures.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service was ranked ninth out of 12 trusts in England for response times and was among five which failed to reach a standard of 75 per cent of calls reached in eight minutes.

But the statistics were an improvement on the previous year when only 70.8 per cent of calls were reached in target.

Director of operations Sarah Fatchett said: “The report shows significant improvements have been made. We are reaching patients quicker than ever before even against a backdrop of an ever-increasing number of patients requiring assistance. During 2010-11 Yorkshire was hit by one of the worst winters on record which affected response times significantly.”