Deaths and serious incidents from delayed ambulance response to 999 calls – what are the facts?

  • The West Yorkshire Integrated Care Board is meeting in public, both online and in real life on Tuesday 21 March at Normanton Golf Club in Wakefield at 10.30am. People can read the papers, or watch live online by visiting
  • Last week, the West Yorkshire Integrated Care Board invited the public to send in questions and make arrangements for attending the meeting, with a deadline of 9am today, Monday 20th March.
  • I emailed the following question, but have not yet received any acknowledgement of receipt or confirmation of arrangements to attend the meeting online.

My question is about deaths and serious incidents from delayed Yorkshire Ambulance Service response to 999 calls, as follows:

Yorkshire Ambulance Service’s Chief Executive reported to its Board on 2nd February 2023 that – having been at REAP level 4 between 22 November 2022 to 23 January 2023 –  

 “Serious incidents and moderate harm, largely from delayed response, continue to be reported and investigations are underway using serious incident reports or after action reviews.”

Para 3.4.5 Patient Safety, Chief Exec’s Report

This statement contrasts with the West Yorkshire Integrated Care Board Chief Executive’s report to the 21st March 2023  meeting that,  “particularly on ambulance response times and urgent care”,  West Yorkshire Integrated Care Board has maintained “good and effective management of the situation”.

The Winter Performance Report seems not to mention serious incidents and harm from delayed ambulance response.  

Please will West Yorkshire Integrated Care Board provide the following facts:

  • During Q1 2022-23, Yorkshire Ambulance Service received 348 new Coroners’ requests, an increase over the previous quarter. There were 121 in West Yorkshire. What were the causes of these deaths?
  • How many reported Yorkshire Ambulance Service incidents of patient harm and deaths were due to delayed Yorkshire Ambulance Service response to 999 calls, delayed or poor care and/or transfer to A&E,  in the West Yorkshire Integrated Care Board area in 2022-2023?
  • Where within West Yorkshire did any such deaths and patient harms occur?
  • Have these deaths and patient harms been included in the Yorkshire Ambulance Service serious incident investigations in the 2022-23 year to February 2023 – when Yorkshire Ambulance Service reported 30 serious incidents in West Yorkshire and 100 over the whole Yorkshire and Humber area?
  • Do these serious incidents, and any reported since then, include patient safety incident reports made by GPs and/or other non-Yorkshire Ambulance Service clinicians, relating to delayed Yorkshire Ambulance Service response to 999 calls?
  • Is West Yorkshire Integrated Care Board aware that because of long Yorkshire Ambulance Service delays in responding to 999 calls, GPs have found themselves acting as a de facto fourth emergency service? Colne Valley Help charity in Greater Huddersfield have even felt the need to issue guidance to the public to contact their GP if they face significant delays in ambulance response to critically injured or unwell patients. But GP practices are not equipped to deal with patients’ emergency healthcare needs, and have found themselves trying to fill the role of paramedics and ambulances, at enormous risk to their patients and themselves. This has caused moral injury to GPs and other Practice staff.
  • Is there an established process for non-Yorkshire Ambulance Service clinicians to make serious incident reports about delayed ambulance response to 999 calls?  And if so, have all GP practices, community health clinicians and domiciliary social care providers received guidance about this process?
  • What process is there, if any, for Yorkshire Ambulance Service to inform the place committees of West Yorkshire Integrated Care Board about such serious incident reports and investigations – including the place Primary Care Commissioning Committees and Local Medical Committees?
  • How many Yorkshire Ambulance Service serious incidents 2022-23 remain to be investigated? Including serious incidents that resulted in death?



  1. Very good questions. These were read out in an abbreviated form at the ICB meeting, and a comprehensive reply was promised, so will be interesting to see whether this does fully address the issues raised. Probably dont hold your breath.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Probably just as well I didn’t hold my breath. Not only has the ICB not answered my questions, they have refused to allow me to ask a question about this at the May 16th WYICB meeting.


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