Long ambulance response times have prompted demand for change from a Bourton councillor.

Paul Hodgkinson believes the Cotswolds is disproportionately worse affected by slow response times from the South Western Ambulance Service.

In an attempt to address this, he has written a letter to the chief executive.

He said: “The Ambulance Trust, along with all of our health services, have been under extreme pressure since the start of the pandemic – and all the health staff deserve our overwhelming thanks for the work they’ve been undertaking.

“However, it is unacceptable that, due to slow ambulance response times, residents in the Cotswolds have a much lower chance of surviving a life-threatening condition than every other district in Gloucestershire. Not once, in the last 22 months, has the Ambulance Trust time hit the average response time target, whereas other parts of Gloucestershire are comfortably under it.

“Your chance of survival should not depend on where you live, which is why I have asked the Chief Executive to share his plans to bring the Cotswolds, and other districts failing to hit targets, in line with the County’s best performing areas.”

The Gloucestershire Liberal Democrats state that over the last 22 months the response time for category one calls in the Cotswolds was more than 11 minutes, four minutes longer than the average for across Gloucestershire.

It is also said that at no point in the last 22 months did the average response time in the Cotswolds hit the target of seven minutes.

Will Warrender, chief executive of SWAS, has responded to councillor Hodgkinson’s comments.

He said: “We are sorry some patients are having to wait longer for an ambulance because of hospital handover delays, which are a result of the NHS being under severe pressure.

“We continue to experience the highest-ever level of sustained demand on our service, and are dealing with a new 999 incident every 29 seconds.”

He added: “Our response times are directly affected by the time it takes us to handover patients into busy hospital emergency departments, which is longer than we have ever seen before.

“On Monday, October 25, we lost more than 900 hours to handover delays. Two years ago we lost approximately 400 in an average week. Having 30 per cent of our ambulances queuing outside hospitals and unable to respond to other patients has an inevitable impact on the service we can provide. This is a system problem which therefore demands a system solution.

“It is an absolute priority for us and our NHS partners to reduce these delays, so we can be there for our patients, while prioritising those who are most seriously injured and ill.”