Understanding ambulance response categories
Following the largest ambulance clinical trials in the world, NHS England implemented new ambulance standards across the country.
The new standards came into effect in the North East
in October 2017.
The categories are as follows:
Response time to 90% of all incidents
An immediate response to a
life threatening condition, such as cardiac or respiratory arrest
serious condition, such as , which may require rapid assessment and/or urgent transport stroke or chest pain
urgent problem, such as an uncomplicated diabetic issue, which requires treatment and transport to an acute setting
non-urgent problem, such as stable clinical cases, which requires transportation to a hospital ward or clinic
Find out more about what happens when you call an ambulance, and the response times, in the video below:
Response Times (BSL Version) from North East Ambulance Service NHS on Vimeo.
Videos explaining each of the categories are available to view below:
VIDEO Category 2
VIDEO Category 3
VIDEO Category 4
More information about ambulance standards
NHS England has created an easy-read document to explain ambulance response standards and the reason behind the changes.
To read this easy-read document, please click here.
The new standards were introduced following the world's largest clinical ambulance pilot, carried out by academics at the University of Sheffield. During the 18 month trial, there were no safety issues identified in more than 14million 999 calls.
Click here to read the University of Sheffield report