Of all things, an Ambulance is the one thing you would want to turn up without delay. That goes without saying.
It’s also the one story that comes out every month, with new stats, that mean a lot to a lot of people.
How long you wait for an Ambulance can literally mean the difference between life and death in some cases. In others, it can mean suffering or prolonged agony. In any case, genuine reasons to call an ambulance mean the person needs medical attention quite quickly.
So, how do we measure the data for the public to dissect, and tell the story in a way that matters to them, and at the same time, help any future journalists who are going to come back to the story with future figures.
Easy – you make charts.
This chart shows how the percentage of ambulances which managed to arrive at the scene of the incident within 8 minutes. 8 minutes is the target figure, and the headline figure. Class A emergencies are generally where somebodies life is in serious risk. It is vitally important an ambulance turns up quickly, with a paramedic in tow.
As you can see from the chart, it shows the different areas of North Wales. The ambulances are all from the North Wales Ambulance Services Trust.
The big red bit is North Wales as a whole. The other lines are for the different counties. You can hover over the line and it will tell you the details. This way, you can see who is above and below the North Wales average. Click it, and find out.
To get this data, it’s all freely available as a news release from the Welsh Government news service. It’s not up-to-date, but it’s a release. It’s good. We would love up-to-date stats, but that’s a story for another day though.
So, if you take a look, you see charts of things in PDF format. The evil file format, as it’s more commonly known. Good for locking things down. We know that small charts mean you can’t exactly see all the data though. So, we need to get it ourselves.
Luckily, Wales has a resource for this. It’s called StatsWales, and houses historical data on many things. The one thing we want is the last few years of how the ambulances have been doing.
Whilst we’re there, though, why not pick up some context. How many calls did each area put through to get a response rate like that?
This way, stacked up on each other, you can see which county made the most calls, and which month was the quietest. You can also see which month was the busiest. So, if you were going to move to North Wales, and may have need to call an ambulance to get their quickly, where should you move to? This data is all important. Click it and find out.
The result of this data, done online with Google docs, and worked through by journalists with access to the numbers? An informed piece in the Daily Post.