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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-18422: Daniel Johnson (Edinburgh Southern)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 28 August 2018

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-17620 by Jeane Freeman on 23 August 2018, how many calls coded as (a) life-threatening, (b) serious and (c) neither life-threatening or serious were responded to within (i) under 10, (ii) 10 to 29, (iii) 30 to 59, (iv) 60 to 120 and (v) over 120 minutes in each of the last five years.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 13 September 2018

Until the 23 November 2016, in Scotland 999 calls were triaged into three categories:-

• Categories A, potentially immediately life threatening

• Category B, serious but not life threatening

• Category C, not serious but may require an ambulance

The Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) launched its New Clinical Response Model (NCRM) in November 2016, based on a detailed clinical analysis of around half a million 999 calls. Since then, following triage, 999 calls are coded to one of five categories based on the likelihood of serious outcomes or the requirement for specific interventions.

For this reason I have not provided the data exactly as requested, but broken down initially in the triaged categories up until the NCRM was introduced, and thereafter into colour-coded categories.

Category A

Year

 

10 - 30 Minutes

30 - 60 Mins

60 -120 Mins

Over 120 Minutes

2012-13

 

110265

19171

318

9

4

2013-14

119654

22228

438

15

4

2014-15

118587

23971

504

31

6

2015-16

116883

32347

836

64

3

2016-17

89908

24360

714

63

9

Category B, C or non-immediately life threatening

Year

 

10 - 30 Minutes

30 - 60 Mins

60 -120 Mins

Over 120 Minutes

2012-13

218197

117262

8981

2468

823

2013-14

207212

119648

8560

2346

640

2014-15

192834

143583

13111

3236

839

2015-16

164542

153254

19604

4539

1236

2016-17

167745

177750

29771

6577

1552

Purple

Year

 

10 - 30 Minutes

30 - 60 Mins

60 -120 Mins

Over 120 mins

2016-17

4610

990

22

0

0

2017-18

7382

1702

33

2

0

2018 to date

2447

524

14

0

0

Red

Year

 

10 - 30 Minutes

30 - 60 Mins

60 -120 Mins

Over 120 Minutes

2016-17

84958

23359

689

62

9

2017-18

43058

14923

649

103

19

2018 to date

16424

6022

247

20

0

Amber

Year

 

10 - 30 Minutes

30 - 60 Mins

60 -120 Mins

Over 120 Minutes

2016-17

24710

26405

1466

65

2

2017-18

47396

58933

4210

399

66

2018 to date

15258

20625

1359

75

 

0

Yellow

Year

 

10 - 30 Minutes

30 - 60 Mins

60 -120 Mins

Over 120 Minutes

2016-17

139630

147631

24977

4284

583

2017-18

106565

151440

46236

15170

3829

2018 to date

30554

52715

17170

5322

1030

Green

Year

 

10 - 30 Minutes

30 - 60 Mins

60 -120 Mins

Over 120 Minutes

2016-17

3147

3677

3321

2228

967

2017-18

2114

2785

2059

1586

883

2018 to date

271

629

568

442

242

It should be noted that the NCRM is helping to save the lives of more critically ill patients – in 2016-17 SAS saved the lives of an additional 62 patients who had suffered an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

Response times, whilst important, are just one element which ensures the best outcomes for patients. SAS call handlers now spend more time understanding the needs of each individual patient to ensure patients get the right, not necessarily the fastest, resource. Whilst this has led to a slight increase in wait times for patients whose lives are not immediately at risk, this approach is helping the Service to save the lives of more critically ill patients.