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Ambulance Trust internal document reveals colossal failures

2013 Mai 7 12:19 PM

Prior to the ambulance debate this afternoon, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, Kirsty Williams has called on the Welsh Government to regain control on ambulance response times and performance after an internal report reveals that the Ambulance Trust is severely missing nearly all of its internal targets.

The performance report for April 2012 to January 2013 reveals that the Ambulance Trust has an internal target for 52% of ambulances to arrive within 4 minutes if a patient has suffered from cardiac arrest, yet only 30% of ambulances reached this target.

There is also a national target for 95% of ambulances to have a patient handover within 15 minutes, yet only 56.9% of ambulances met this. The 15 minute target, according to the Ambulance Trust, continues to be one of the primary constraints on response time performance, quality of service and patient safety.

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

"It is startling to look at this monitoring scorecard which is just a sea of red - a signal that targets are not being met. There are over 30 internal targets in all, yet astonishingly only two seem to have been consistently met.

"This document highlights that we have had systemic problems in our ambulance service for some time now that really must be tackled.

"The Ambulance Trust stresses how important the 15 minute handover target is, yet still this hugely significant target is being routinely missed. What makes matters worse is that it is missed by such a huge margin. Day in, day out, lives are being put at risk due to ambulances being forced to queue outside hospitals.

"Fast ambulance response times can mean the difference between life and death. The Trust aims for ambulances to respond to cardiac arrest calls within four minutes as research shows that in many cases, full recovery is possible if CPR is initiated within four minutes of onset of symptoms. Yet, worryingly, this target is always missed.

"The Welsh Labour Government has presided over a colossal failure in the delivery of a safe and effective ambulance service. The McClelland Review that is to be debated this afternoon is the ninth review into the ambulance service in six years. Clearly just calling for reviews has not fixed the problem; therefore it is essential that the Welsh Labour Government responds appropriately. We need action from this Government, not just words.

"Ambulance staff are working incredibly hard to deliver the best response times they can, but sadly they are doing an impossible job due to the conditions they are being forced to work in. The Welsh Liberal Democrats will today be calling for Wales to have an ambulance service fit for the 21st Century."

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