There are 11 ambulance services in England, providing emergency access to healthcare.
If you call for an emergency ambulance the calls are prioritised into:
- Category A emergencies, which are immediately life-threatening
- Category B or C emergencies, which are not life-threatening
The emergency control room decides what kind of response is needed and whether an ambulance is required. For all three types of emergency, they may send a rapid-response vehicle, crewed by a paramedic and equipped to provide treatment at the scene of an incident. Over the past five years the number of ambulance 999 calls has gone up by a third.
The NHS is also responsible for providing transport to get many patients to hospital for treatment. In many areas it is the ambulance trust that provides this service.