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Ambulance Response Proposals ‘Must Not Affect Patient Safety’

Expert Discusses Potential Changes


Reported plans to scrap response time targets for ambulance calls in England must not impact on the safety of patients, a medical lawyer has urged.

It has been suggested by the Press Association that the government is considering the abolition of the current 19-minute target for less serious cases, with an eight-minute response on major calls remaining the sole priority.

Unions have previously revealed concerns over the plans, with the GMB claiming that patients should be given guarantees.

Mandy Luckman of Irwin Mitchell’s Medical Law and Patients’ Rights team, said: “Any changes to response times must be treated with care, particularly as it could impact on the management of the ambulance service and the levels of resource available in certain areas.

“The use of targets sets a standard, so any reforms in this area should always be fully examined and assessed to ensure they will not impact on patient safety, which must always be a priority for those working for or on behalf of the NHS.”

“All people deserve the best possible, and timely, care.”