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Ambulance service used taxis to deal with Selby area 999 calls

Private hire taxis are being used to take Selby area 999 patients to hospital, an investigation by TheSelebian has revealed.

Ambulance service used taxis to deal with Selby area 999 calls
Davies10 | Creative Commons
Published 4 years ago | Updated 4 years ago

Figures obtained exclusively by TheSelebian show how Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust (YAS) used the taxis to respond to requests for medical assistance by residents with Selby area postcodes 20 times during 2014. The taxis were dispatched to ferry patients with less urgent needs to their nearest hospital. 

The figures have risen from zero taxis in the previous year following the use of a telephone triage system to screen callers for those with more immediate needs.  Some patients, for example someone with a possible finger fracture or a cut to the arm which has stopped bleeding, could be advised to make their own way to the hospital A&E department or attend Selby's Minor Injuries Unit.

The Trust was keen to stress that not all 999 calls are for patients’ with serious conditions and that using private hire vehicles may offer a better use of its resources. In scenarios where the patient is considered by call screeners to have a less than urgent need they will ask the patient whether a friend or family member can drive them to hospital.

But on 20 occasions during 2014, often where the patient was categorised as vulnerable, the Trust opted to send the private hire vehicles instead of a regular ambulance, with trained medics on-board.

Do you think YAS are right to send taxis in place of regular ambulances? Scroll down to leave your comments below...

Full break down of taxis sent by post code areas:

Postcode area2014
DN14 0
Inc. Eggborough
LS24 8
Inc. E. Tadcaster, Colton
LS24 9
Inc. Tadcaster
LS25 5
Inc. S. Milford, Monk Fryston
LS25 6
Inc. Sherburn
WF11 0
Inc. Cridling Stubbs
WF11 9
Inc. Birkin, Byram
YO19 6
Inc. Riccall, Escrick
YO23 7
Inc. Appleton Roebuck
YO8 3
Inc. Wistow, Cawood
YO8 4
Inc. Selby Town Centre
YO8 5
Inc. Barlby, N. Duffield
YO8 8
Inc. Barlow, Drax
YO8 9
Inc. Brayton, Thorpe
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First published at 22:42 on Thursday, March 19th, 2015.
Last updated at 08:28 on Friday, March 20th, 2015.