Charity welcomes news that response times for ambulances in line with national average in Burnley

Emma Dickinson, who is the fundraising manager for the charity for Lancashire and Cumbria, said that every year in the UKclose to 200,000 people go to hospital due to a heart attack.
Emma Dickinson, who is the fundraising manager for the charity for Lancashire and Cumbria, said that every year in the UKclose to 200,000 people go to hospital due to a heart attack.
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News that response times for ambulances in Burnley are in line with the national average has been welcomed by a spokesman for the British Heart Foundation.

But Emma Dickinson, who is the fundraising manager for the charity for Lancashire and Cumbria, said that every year in the UK close to 200,000 people go to hospital due to a heart attack.

An ambulance should respond to an emergency within six to eight minutes, depending on where you live, and in the BB11 area of Burnley waiting times stand at seven minutes, 52 seconds.

The response time for the BB10 area is eight minutes, three seconds and for BB12 casualties only wait two seconds more with the response times at eight minutes, five seconds.

Miss Dickinson said: "Less than one in 10 people survive an out of hospital cardiac arrest.

"A cardiac arrest and a heart attack are not the same but a heart attack can lead to a cardiac arrest and both are medical emergencies.

"The chance of survival from a cardiac arrest decreases by up to 10% every minute and the need for urgent medical assistance is vital."

Statistics from the British Heat Foundation also show that one in four lives are still claimed due to heart and circulatory diseases and in Burnley 119 people die from heart disease every year.

Miss Dickinson added: "As a research charity we’re looking at finding better ways to prevent, detect, treat and cure heart and circulatory diseases.

"The support of the public is crucial in raising vital funds to help keep hearts beating."

The statistics, which were revealed in a special BBC report, home in on postcode districts but do not include rapid response vehicles or community first responders as these no longer 'stop the clock' for emergency calls.

The ambulance that responds to an emergency will always be the nearest available one so this could be from anywhere.

Using the Freedom of Information Act, BBC reporters obtained the average response times for the most life-threatening callouts, including cardiac arrests, stab wounds, major blood loss, seizures, patients not breathing or struggling to breathe and women in the end stages of labour, in more than 2,700 local communities across Britain.

These times cover the point at which a trained person reaches the patient - so it could be an ambulance or volunteers trained by the service to respond to these highest-priority cases.

2019 marks the 20th anniversary of first responders in the North West Ambulance Service and there are currently 800 across the trust, with 200 of them in Lancashire. The trust works with them to offer training opportunities and encourage recruitment.

The ambulance spokesman added that heavy investment had been made in lifesaving community public access defibrillators which had also been boosted by donations from the North West Ambulance charity.

These can be accessed and used by anyone and give patients in cardiac arrest the best possible chance of survival.

There are currently over 600 operational in Lancashire, 36 of which are in the Burnley and Pendle area.

The investigation highlighted that critically injured patients in rural areas, such as the Ribble Valley and parts of Pendle, are at risk due to the time it takes an ambulance to reach them.

The average rural response time for an ambulance is 11 minutes, 13 seconds but in the Ribble Valley the response time is 14 minutes, 23 seconds and in Pendle it is 13 minutes, one second.

Experts have said that delays could make the difference between life and death.

Ambulance bosses have accepted some responses took longer than they should but said staff were working hard in 'challenging circumstances' due to the levels of demand and the remote nature of some locations.

Research has shown that if patients are given all the treatment immediately, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation - an electric shock to restart the heart, about two-thirds can survive.

But every minute delay reduces survival by 10%.