Scottish ambulance response times compare well with NHS England

Without presenting any actual statistics, BBC Scotland staff groomed staff in Edinburgh to tell us, out of context, how bad things are.

Straight comparisons are slightly problematic but still possible.

In March 2022 (the latest) NHS England ambulances for Category 1 cases had a mean response time of 9 minutes and 35 seconds while for NHS Scotland the equivalent category (purple), the median was 7 minutes and 4 seconds.

Why use median instead of mean? It’s best to use the mean when the distribution of the data values is symmetrical and there are no clear outliers. It’s best to use the medianĀ when the the distribution of data values is skewed or when there are clear outliers.

https://www.statology.org/when-to-use-mean-vs-median/

I’m guessing, based on some media reporting, that there will be clear outliers with some ambulance services taking far longer so the median is more informative.

90% of the English cases had a response time of 16 minutes of 50 secs while 90% of the Scottish cases had a response time of 16 minutes and 20 seconds.

Sources:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/ambulance-quality-indicators/ambulance-quality-indicators-data-2021-22/

https://www.scottishambulance.com/publications/unscheduled-care-operational-statistics/

2 thoughts on “Scottish ambulance response times compare well with NHS England

  1. You only need ask WHY “BBC Scotland joined Moira and colleague Blair Paul at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh where they were among seven ambulances waiting to drop off patients” on the very day “the latest performance data for A&E waiting times in NHS Scotland” were published per Stewart’s previous article ?

    The answer can only be that neither she nor Disaster Gulhane nor Tsunami Baillie’s advisors were able to conjure a negative narrative from the latest figures, so Lisa went out to get quotes to create one.

    What stood out was “Latest figures from the service show that for the week to 25 April, one in 10 ambulances in Scotland waited over one hour and twenty minutes to drop patients at an emergency department”
    Stewart’s earlier article was for the most recent data, the week to 1st May…

    BBC Scotland selectivity and reframing now that Summers is here….

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The problem for public perception is though John that it only takes a single bad case (though more is always better) which can be reported – “my granny waited four hours for an ambulance, lying on the floor in terrible pain ” etc etc, which is reported on every news broadcast in case anyone misses it. This has the effect of influencing the way in which we think of the ambulance service – or indeed any other public service – a single rat could be very influential in Glasgow for instance.
    It’s cheap, poor, amateurish even, politically motivated journalism but it’s where we are. It needs called out but not on an item by item basis, but on a broad front.
    The difficulty with that of course is who do we ask to make public that broad front rebuttal of our media, except, of course, the media. A friend of mine – Iain Lawson – attempted to start a “Campaign for Honest Journalism” (sounds a bit like “Campaign for Sober Pub Crawls” doesnt it?). Iain cannot be published anywhere in mainstream media any more – he is blacklisted. The lies about the demos at the BBC and the treatment of Nick “He didnt answer” Robinson get wheeled out every so when. The problem is when the criminals get into control.

    Liked by 4 people

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