October coverage of police taking "life or death" patients to hospital

No incidents known to NEAS

In October, newspapers and broadcasters carried claims that police officers in the North East were taking patients in "life or death" situations to hospital - however, we have no record of even one of these incidents happening.

If anyone can provide us with an example of a critically ill patient being taken to hospital in the North East by a police officer we are happy to investigate. Being open and accountable is extremely important to us.

Ambulances are allocated on the needs of a patient. If a plumber calls having discovered someone having a heart attack, his call will take precedence over a police officer who has a patient with non-life-threatening injuries.

Non-life-threatening incidents have a 30-minute response time, and sometimes, officers do independantly take these types of patients to hospital rather than wait on the vehicle. It's important to stress though that we do not request or expect police officers to take patients to hospital.

Like all English ambulance services, NEAS is funded to reach 75% of the most serious calls within 8 minutes. Up until the end of September 2013, NEAS was achieving 79.7% - one of the highest levels in the country.


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