Average waiting times for ambulances outside London reach highest level, figures show

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Average waiting times for ambulances outside London have reached their highest-ever level, new figures show.

People who suffered a category two emergency, such as a heart attack or stroke, were on average left waiting more than an hour, for only the second time ever.

NHS England said the bad performance was across all of its categories.

The average wait time for an ambulance was:

  • Nine minutes, 56 seconds for Category 1 (life-threatening) – the target is seven minutes
  • One hour, one minute and 19 seconds for Category 2 (emergency such as heart attack or stroke) – target is 18 minutes
  • Three hours, 34 minutes and 34 seconds for Category 3 (things like falls at home)

Data for London is not available.

It comes as the number of people in England waiting to start routine hospital treatment has risen to a new record high.

A total of 7.1 million people were waiting to start treatment at the end of September, NHS England said.

This is up from 7.0 million in August and is the highest number since records began in August 2007.

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