The changes focus on making sure the best, high quality, most appropriate response is provided for each patient first time.
Historically ambulance services are allowed up to 60 seconds from receiving a call to sending a vehicle. They told us this isn’t long enough.
So from now on call handlers will be given more time to assess 999 calls that are not immediately life-threatening, which will enable them to identify patients’ needs better and send the most appropriate response.
Ambulance services are measured on the time it takes from receiving a 999 call to a vehicle arriving at the patient’s location.
Life-threatening and emergency calls, under the current standards, should be responded to in eight minutes. We know that most patients do not need this level of response.
So, in future there will be four categories of call.
Category 1 – Calls from people with life-threatening illnesses or injuries
This short animation explains more about these calls:
Category 2 – Emergency calls
Hear more about these types of calls:
Category 3 – Urgent calls
Watch this short animation on what an urgent call is:
Category 4 – Less urgent calls
Learn more about what this means: