Vale of Glamorgan MP Alun Cairns’s anger over ambulance delays
4:10pm Thursday 7th March 2013 in News
MP Alun Cairns has reacted with anger and disappointment that only 61 per cent of urgent ambulance calls from the Vale arrived within the target of eight minutes in January, according to the latest figures.
Mr Cairns has now called on the Welsh Health Minister and Welsh Government to respond. Out of 587 calls made to the ambulance service, only 353 arrived in the designated timeframe.
The target time is 65 per cent in Wales.
Mr Cairns said: “It is vital we gain assurance from the minister that the review of the Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust will deliver improved response times for our community.
“Despite the best efforts of dedicated ambulance staff, the service is not delivering the standard of service patients expect and deserve.
“One constituent in the Vale of Glamorgan suffering from breathing problems waited over an hour for an ambulance to arrive after an initial 999 call (identified as ‘category A’).
“Another was a stroke victim, and a further patient was suffering from chest pains – all waited over an hour. The target time is eight minutes.”
The Vale MP has highlighted issues of poor response times in the Vale since February 2011. Across Wales, ambulance responses to lifethreatening (category A) calls were missed for the eighth successive month in January.
The Welsh Government’s statistics service said snow was a factor for delays in January. The last time the 65 per cent Category A target was met was in May last year.
Mr Cairns said: “The Vale is missing out again. I fear particularly for areas like Llantwit and the villages around the western parts of the county.
“The number of urgent 999 calls answered by an ambulance within the target time dipped again during January.
I have called for the Welsh Government to act on this matter many times over the last two years.
“It is vital that we gain assurance from the minister that the review of the Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust will deliver improved response times for our community.
“Hardworking paramedics need to be backed up by fresh investment in response vehicles and smoother transition arrangements at hospitals to prevent ambulances being blocked up waiting to transfer patients.
“I fear that such investment may be difficult due to cuts to the Welsh NHS, which is the only part of the NHS that is receiving a budget reduction.
“The closure of local services is only adding to the pressure on staff and it’s vital that unnecessary NHS reorganisation is properly considered in the current review.”