The worrying delays in the time it takes for an ambulance to arrive following a 999 call has been raised with the First Minister by Montgomeryshire AM, Russell George.
Back in March, Mr George questioned the Cabinet Secretary for Health on ambulance response times in Powys after receiving an influx of reports from residents reporting delays in 999 response times which has been partly attributed to ambulances waiting outside hospitals to transfer patients into the care of hospital staff.
After questioning the First Minister, Mr George said:
“Delays in ambulance response times are very distressing, not just for the patient, but for those waiting with the patient, and very frustrating for the dedicated ambulance and paramedic staff who do a great job in supporting patients when they arrive.
“Back in March, the Cabinet Secretary for Health said, that the bulk of handover delays affecting Powys patients in the last two months are actually at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, but this is simply not borne out by the facts.
Mr George received a letter from the Chief Executive of the Welsh Ambulance Trust which confirmed that average ambulance handover times for January to June 2018 was 9 minutes for Telford, 26 minutes for Shrewsbury and 1 hour and 2 minutes for Wrexham Maelor.
Mr George added:
“While I acknowledge that the vast majority of Powys patients will be served by Shrewsbury, Telford or Bronglais, the handover times at Wrexham Maelor and other Welsh hospitals must be addressed if they are causing delays to ambulance response times in Powys.
“By reeling off a series of statistics, the response from the First Minister ignores the underlying issues which have resulted in long delays to handover times at Wrexham Maelor for a number of patients and I am calling on this to be addressed so that those patients who are served by this hospital are not put at undue risk.
“Long delays are deeply distressing for patients, families, and ambulance staff.”