It has been reported this week that a policy instituted by the South East Coast Ambulance trust, caused ambulance responses to calls to the 111 service to be automatically delayed, even where the situation had been classed as "life threatening".

A "forensic review" is due to be published shortly into how this policy came to be put in place.

A separate enquiry has been set up to investigate the extent to which patients may have been harmed by this policy. According to the draft forensic review, cases include a delay in in sending an ambulance where there were clear signs of cardiac arrest.

Whilst the outcome of these enquiries are awaited, it is important that steps are taken to ensure that patients can trust NHS emergency systems and it is concerning that management systems allowed this policy to be put in place.