Computer Laboratory

Health & Safety

NHS ambulance policy

New NHS ambulance policy from January 2005 (doc)

In the summer of 2004, the Health Minister made an announcement that it was unreasonable for an ambulance to attend every call under emergency conditions and in some cases it was inappropriate for an ambulance to attend at all and alternative health care options could be offered.

Once a call has been identified as not requiring an immediate response (Category C), then in East Anglia there are two options:

  • An ambulance will attend as a non-emergency response and should arrive in 30-45 minutes. If the patient's condition changes then another 999 call can be made.

    All calls from a public place will be in this category because of the lack of telephone access for a return call.
  • An ambulance will not be despatched and the call will be passed to a Nurse advisor. However if a Nurse advisor is busy on another call then the caller will be asked to hang up and the Nurse advisor will call back within 15 minutes. If the patient's condition changes then another 999 call can be made.

Category A calls will still require an attendance in 8 minutes and an ambulance by 19 minutes (Life threatening conditions).

Category B calls will still require an ambulance attendance in 19 minutes.(Major fractures etc).

This new policy should be considered when calling for an ambulance, if it attends as a Category C, patient care may have to be provided for up to 45 minutes and the ambulance will not be using warning devices.

ADK 22/12/04