eople are “praying they don’t fall ill” because they “can no longer be sure their 999 call will be answered or that an ambulance will arrive when they need one”, Labour has said.
The party made the comments after it was revealed that one 999 caller in December was forced to wait for an hour-and-a-half before their call was answered.
Labour sent freedom of information requests to all 10 ambulance trusts in England to find out the longest ambulance response time in December.
The longest 999 response in December was in Yorkshire where a caller waited for an hour and 37 minutes, Labour said.
Four trusts responded to the request at the time Labour published the data.
The party also asked for the longest 111 response time in December, which was three hours and five minutes for a caller in the Midlands.
Meanwhile Labour said that patients using the 111 service whose symptoms required a call back from a nurse waited more than a day to hear from the service.
Wes Streeting, Labour’s shadow health secretary, said: “After 13 years of Conservative mismanagement of the NHS, patients can no longer be sure their 999 call will be answered or that an ambulance will arrive when they need one.
“People are just praying they don’t fall ill or suffer an accident.
“Labour will launch the biggest expansion of NHS staff training in history, paid for by abolishing non-doms, so that the NHS is there for us when we need it once again.”
December was one of the busiest months on record for the NHS and responses have improved since then.
There were a record number of 999 calls received in December – 1,278,675 – and the 111 service received almost three million calls.