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Kirsty Williams calls for improvement to ambulance response times

2012 Gorffenaf 25 3:57 PM

Statistics released today have shown that ambulance response times have fallen below the Government-set target.

The Government's all-Wales target is for 65% of category A emergency calls to receive an ambulance response time within eight minutes. This target was missed last month, with only 64% of calls being responded to within the target time. There was a huge variance of response times across Wales, with performance ranging from 52.1% on the Isle of Anglesey to 75.3% in Wrexham.

Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, commented:

"Ambulance response times have consistently been a problem for this Welsh Labour Government. Only a few months ago the Health Minister said that she wanted to see 70% of ambulances responding to life or death emergency calls within eight minutes. I appreciate that the Minister wants to achieve higher standards and it is good that over the last year or so there has been some improvement, but she needs to wake up to the fact that the current 65% target isn't even consistently met.

"In a life threatening emergency every minute counts which is why the Welsh Labour Government cannot allow this situation to continue any longer. The Welsh Liberal Democrats have called on the Government time and time again to tackle the issue of 'lost hours'. Nonetheless, there is still a serious problem of ambulances being forced to queue outside hospitals. Not only does this lead to delays in patients' treatment, it also means that ambulances are not able to respond to other emergency calls.

"The variance in performance across Wales is startling. It is a sad fact that where a patient lives dictates the NHS service they will get. Ambulance staff work incredibly hard, but they are not getting the support they need from this Welsh Labour Government".

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