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Secret plan to DOUBLE ambulance waiting times

Secret plan to DOUBLE ambulance waiting times

Stroke and seizure patients could wait up to 19 minutes under new targets approved by NHS bosses.

The Mail on Sunday has uncovered a secret plan to double the time ambulances can take to reach critically ill patients.

The current target is for an emergency vehicle to reach those in life-threatening situations within eight minutes.

But a document seen by this newspaper reveals that the target time to get to those suffering a range of serious problems including strokes and seizures is to be increased to 19 minutes.

Last night leading doctors said the scheme – designed to make it easier for ambulance services to hit targets they have missed for months – risked lives.

The astonishing memo – leaked by a whistleblower – reveals that the changes have been approved by NHS England, but bosses wanted implementation delayed until after the General Election in May.

However, they discussed bringing the plan forward at a series of secret high-level meetings, because of ‘unprecedented pressure’ on emergency services.

The revelations come as the NHS faces a wider winter crisis with top medics warning: ‘Don’t get ill this Christmas.’

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