Fewer ambulances reaching patients within target time

Fewer emergency callouts involving ambulances are reaching the patient within 20 minutes.

The Department of Health and Social Care has revealed the waiting times for medical treatment for the third quarter of the 2016-17 financial year.

Between October and the end of December last year, 82% of those requesting an ambulance by calling 999 were met within the target of 20 minutes - a drop of 2% compared with the previous period.

Less than 60% of calls about life threatening situations resulted in an emergency responder attending within eight minutes - the target it 75%.

Waiting times for some inpatient and outpatient appointments are also up, but there was an improvement to the number of patients referred to the hospital for cancer treatment being seen within two weeks.

The Department has promised to update the figures four times a year, with the next data due to be published next month.