New stats show ambulance service response times soar for most urgent calls

Please see below a template press release on new ambulance service NHS statistics which have been released on 13 January 2022. This template from LDHQ is for England only.


For regional data please use the figures from this table: Ambulance Response Times - December 2021 - Local Release.

The statistics in the table above have been analysed and broken down by Category 1 and Category 2 calls, they show:

  • The ambulance service region
  • The December average wait time
  • The increase in wait time compared to November by time
  • The increase in wait time compared to November by percentage

You can use this release to highlight the Government's failure on your local health services.

If you have any questions you can email

(Draft issued 14 January 2022)

[INSERT COLUMN B] ambulance service response times soar for most urgent calls

[INSERT COLUMN B] ambulance service response times for the most serious incidents, e.g. cardiac arrest, have increased to [INSERT COLUMN C] in December compared to November, new Ambulance Service Statistics have revealed.

The statistics, released from NHS England, show that average wait times for serious incidents have worsened in every region in England over the past month, failing to meet both the Category 1 and Category 2 callout times.

Locally, the statistics show that when comparing November to last month, ambulance wait times for calls in [INSERT COLUMN B] worsened further, with patients across the area being left to wait even longer when they called an ambulance.

Wait times for Category 1 calls in [INSERT COLUMN B] reached highs of [INSERT COLUMN C] in December, well over the NHS target set.

In addition, urgent Category 2 callouts have worsened in [INSERT COLUMN B], with the average wait time in December of [INSERT COLUMN C]. This is a [INSERT COLUMN M] percentage increase on November waiting times. The standard wait time for a “Category 1” incident should be no longer than 7 minutes due to the urgency of the matter, meaning the wait times are well in excess of NHS targets. Similarly, the NHS target for "Category 2" is 18 minutes, meaning almost all of the most urgent calls for ambulance services are being missed. Liberal Democrats are calling for the Government to commission an investigation by the Care Quality Commission without further delay.

Responding to the new figures, [INSERT LIBERAL DEMOCRAT SPOKESPERSON] said:

“It is disastrous that our local NHS services are under such severe pressure. We need real investment in our area with a plan from the Government.

“The Conservatives have taken [AREA] for granted for decades and now we’re seeing local patients and families pay the price.

“The Government needs to step up and stop taking our area for granted. Health service wait times across the board are struggling, our local health staff are under immense pressure, and it looks like things are getting even worse.”


Notes to editor

NHS England’s Ambulance Quality Indicators, published on 13 January 2022, are available here. These figures refer to Category 1 incidents: An immediate response to a life threatening condition, such as cardiac or respiratory arrest.

The NHS target is an average response time to these incidents of 7 minutes, and for 90 per cent of them to be responded to within 15 minutes.

The NHS target for Category 2 is 18 minutes.