LIVES ARE being put at risk because ambulances are taking up to three minutes longer on average to reach the most seriously ill patients than three years ago, according to Labour.
Chaos at accident and emergency departments means ambulances are trapped in queues outside, which has a knock-on effect on the time it takes to deal with 999 calls, the party said.
It pointed to records published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre that show category A ambulance call outs, which relate to life-threatening conditions such as heart attacks and strokes, are taking an average of 67 seconds longer than in 2011.
Dale Webb, director of research and information from the Stroke Association, said: “When stroke strikes, the blood supply to part of your brain is cut off by a clot or damaged by a bleed which causes brain cells in the affected area to die, so time lost is brain lost. Lengthening ambulance times are concerning,”