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Peter Black calls for improvement on ambulance times in Neath Port Talbot

January 30, 2013 2:51 PM

The Welsh Liberal Democrats Assembly Member for South Wales West, Peter Black has called for the Welsh Labour Government to urgently address poor ambulance response times in Neath Port Talbot after statistics released today have shown that only 47.3% of urgent calls arrived within the target time.

The statistics have shown that the All Wales ambulance response rate was its lowest in 2012 and the 65% all-Wales target was missed for the seventh successive month. The Welsh Labour government's target is for 65% of category A calls to receive an ambulance response time within eight minutes. Only 56.1% of calls in December received an ambulance within that time.

Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats is also calling on the Health Minister to raise the all-Wales target to 75% to match Scotland and England and so that the current review into the ambulance service can be based on realistic funding to attain that target.

Peter Black commented:

"The figures released today have shown that ambulance response rates in December were the lowest of any month in 2012. Wales has the slowest ambulance response times in the whole of the UK and they have been getting worse. The Welsh Labour government cannot hide behind adverse weather conditions or unusually high sickness rates as they have done in previous winter seasons.

"People in Neath Port Talbot are not getting the service they deserve at critical times in their lives. One major reason for these dismal figures is the persistent failure of Welsh Labour Ministers to establish what resources are needed to match rising demand for ambulance services.

"An ambulance service that is able to respond quickly, with well-skilled, motivated staff is often the crucial first stage in a response to medical emergencies. While paramedics and technical staff are striving for excellence, they are facing immense pressure and having to work with increasingly stretched resources."

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

"Until now, Wales has funded its ambulance service to meet a target of 65% of ambulance responses to life-threatening conditions within 8 minutes - whereas England funds to achieve 75%. The Minister herself should now decide to raise that target, so that the review can be based on realistic funding to attain it.

"What Wales does not need is another period of re-organisation, such as by breaking up the all-Wales ambulance service and losing many of its specialist personnel. Uncertainty may cause some to go in the next few months unless it is made clear that the review will be focused on financing and efficiency - not on breaking up the organisation."

ENDS

Stats can be found here.

http://wales.gov.uk/topics/statistics/headlines/health2013/ambulance-services-december-2012/?lang=en

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