How long do you need to wait for an ambulance if you are in a life-threatening situation? Well, that is essentially what this map shows. If you enter your postcode or navigate through the map you will find the median response time, the percentage of calls that are responded within eight minutes and the evolution in the last three years.
The majority ambulance response time stories which we see in the media are about national figures. We wanted to create a map which showed this data on a local level and how this would impact upon you, if the inevitable did happen. Would you need to wait longer for an ambulance at home or at work? How good is the service at your parents’ home? How long would you have to wait if you were on a night out in your local town?
What is ‘A’, ‘Red 1’ and ‘Red 2’?
There are different ways of labelling life-threatening calls. In most cases English ambulance trusts have divided ‘Category A’ - how times used to be measured - into two different categories called ‘Red 1’ and ‘Red 2’. In order to create this map we have picked the most common category in each postcode.
This project was created by the amazing team at Totally Communications, a London-based digital agency. If you want to give us some feedback, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Totally Communications sent 14 Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to each ambulance trust in the country. The Isle of Wight NHS Trust was the only institution which refused to release the data, which is why there is no information for this area.
The response time of each 999 call since 2011 was requested, including the category of the call and postcode district.
In 2012 the NHS recategorised life-threatening calls in two different types: ‘Red 1’ and ‘Red 2’. There are slight differences in the way these two categories are measured - which means they cannot be added together to obtain a single value to represent life-threatening calls.
Nevertheless, many ambulance trusts provided the data using the old category system - labelling all the life-threatening calls as ‘A’.
In order to compare different postcodes, the most used category in each district was taken to represent the majority of calls which needed to be responded within eight minutes. It is important to note this comparison is not perfect for the aforementioned reasons.
The colour of each polygon is based on the median response time for the financial year 2013-2014 and it only considers those postcode districts where there are more than five calls in the whole period. The percentage of calls responded within eight minutes is also based on the data for this year.