THE North West Ambulance Service response figures have been revealed.
Chief executive Darren Hurrell has since apologised for initially withholding the fact it only managed to reach 67.31% of life-threatening calls in Western Cheshire within eight minutes.
Mr Hurrell, 44, admits it was only after Helen Bellairs, chief executive of Western Cheshire Primary Care Trust, intervened he agreed to provide the 2008/09 statistics.
He said this week: “I have made it (the figures) available to you now. We are not hiding figures from you. If you put it down to experience...”
A recent Care Quality Commission report showed the service narrowly missed the target of responding to life-threatening calls across the region within eight minutes, 75% of the time, and only reached serious calls within the 19 minute target, 87.62% of the time – the target being 95%.
Mr Hurrell, who only took up his post in August, said: “Obviously we want to do better in terms of performance than we have been. The challenge we have is the amount of resources we get given and the demands keeping coming on us.”
Mr Hurrell added: “People make a choice about where they live and you will never get the degree of access into country areas that you get in the city centres.”
The service is addressing shortcomings in remote areas using volunteer medics based in the community, having heart defibrillators available locally and training others, like firefighters, in life support techniques – to back up paramedics.