BLACKBURN with Darwen is among the top areas in the North West for the time it takes ambulances to reach the sickest patients, new figures have revealed.

Paramedics are consistently getting to the most serious category one emergency calls in the borough in seven minutes 31 seconds, just 31 seconds above the national target of seven minutes.

Category one calls involve people with life-threatening injuries and illnesses.

Blackburn with Darwen recorded four median response times of seven minutes and 31 seconds in October and December 2017 and January and March 2018.

This put it alongside Blackpool and Bolton where ambulances also managed to reach patients in seven minutes and 31 seconds but did so in fewer months.

Burnley also had one month in December 2017 where ambulances reached patients in seven minutes and 31 seconds.

The Freedom of Information figures were obtained by online healthcare company euroClinix from the North West Ambulance Service.

Ambulance service chiefs said they were pleased with the response times and put them down to investment in additional ambulances and improvements in technology.

A spokesman for the ambulance service said: “We are pleased that our response times have improved from last winter within the East Lancashire area particularly for the most serious emergencies, with Blackburn being one of the best-performing areas in the region.

“We have continued to make a number of improvements to the way that we run our service including investing in additional ambulances and improvements in technology to develop the way that we despatch resources to our patients."

The spokesman added: “We have also placed a higher focus on treating patients within the community wherever possible, both over the phone and face to face.

“This works by linking in with alternative services that are more relevant to the individual needs of the patient helping to reduce unnecessary A&E visits or ambulance responses.”

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