Anger as hundreds of thousands of Brits wait far longer for an ambulance than they do in Scotland

From the House of Commons Library briefing on 13 March 2023:

Ambulance response times have risen, with the average response to a Category 2 call at over 1 hour
30 minutes
in December 2022.

From the Scottish Ambulance Service on 19 December 2022:

Red incidents [same as cat 2 in England] – Median: 10 minutes 19 seconds; 90th Percentile: 24 minutes 33 seconds.

Right, this is where having readers smarter than the writer comes in handy.

An average of over 90 minutes to get an ambulance for a Category 2 call in England compared with a median of 10 mins and 19 secs and 90% within 24 mins and 33 seconds, for the equivalent in Scotland – good? Very good? Very very good? How good?



Purple: Our most critically ill patients. This is where a patient is identified as having a 10% or more chance of having a cardiac arrest. The actual cardiac arrest rate across this category is approximately 53%.

Red: Our next most serious category where a patient is identified as having a likelihood of cardiac arrest between 1% and 9.9%, or having a need for resuscitation interventions such as airway management above 2%. Currently the cardiac arrest rate in this category is approximately 1.5%.


Category 1: An immediate response to a life-threatening condition, such as cardiac or respiratory arrest. The average response time should be under 7 minutes and 90% of ambulances should arrive within 15 minutes.

Category 2: A serious condition, such as stroke or chest pain, which may require rapid assessment and/or urgent transport. The average response time should be under 18 minutes and 90% of ambulances should arrive
within 40 minutes.


9 thoughts on “Anger as hundreds of thousands of Brits wait far longer for an ambulance than they do in Scotland

  1. I am not a mathematician .
    It is very clear that 90% within 21 minutes in Scotland is far superior to an average of 1 hour 30 minutes in England

    simply because the other 10% in Scotland
    would have to take a very very very long time indeed perhaps hours and hours or even days

    The 90% in Scotland that are 21 minutes or less
    obviously have an average of 21 minutes or less
    for example if all of those 90% took exactly 21 minutes the average would be 21 minutes
    I would confidently say that the average in Scotland is likely to be much less than 21 minutes
    it is highly unlikely that they all took 21 minutes
    Many are very likely taking less than 21 minutes
    and that brings the average time down from 21 minutes
    Scotland clear winners
    Poor show England but we all know dont we that it’s Westminster , not the NHS workers or ambulance staff that are causing this

    Liked by 2 people

  2. John, just to be Devil’s Advocate for a moment, how much difference would there be if comparing Scottish figures for December 2022 with the English December 2022 since I note you are quoting Scottish Ambulance as at 29 March 2023?


  3. On ”average” the Scottish opposition will spend 110% of their day moaning about the waiting times for Scottish Ambulances using the median time of ”not until the Twelfth of Never ” and ignoring the English wait of ”until the cows come home ” for their ambulances .

    Liked by 1 person

  4. An excellent example of what Scotland’s media used to do before they went on attack mode against the SNP administration, information has been replaced by alternate “facts” from chief gum bumpers Baillie and Gulhane.

    I do feel sorry for folks in England struggling at all levels from patient to ambulance service to hospital staff, despite them insisting on electing again and again the worst MPs possible to be in charge.

    As highlight frequently on the modern “unaffordability fairy”, contrast that with the creation of the NHS etc in post-war Britain, a country devastated and on it’s financial knees with folks just getting by on ration cards and allotments, with blackouts a feature of everyday life.

    Attlee and Bevan most be spinning in their graves…


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