Lack of ambulance response time targets are putting Mid Wales patients at unnecessary risk

Powys needs more resources in terms of ambulances and staff to prevent putting patients at unnecessary risk according a local AM, Russell George.


The Montgomeryshire Assembly Member has called on the Welsh Government to provide additional resources to the Wales Ambulance Service NHS Trust to ensure that patients suffering from serious medical conditions, including strokes, are not put at risk of unnecessary harm.


His comments follow headlines today which report that patients are being left for more than two hours for medical treatment after suffering a stroke.


Figures revealed by the Welsh Conservative Party show that the Welsh Government’s failure to follow NHS England’s four-tier categorisation system means that sufferers of numerous serious medical complaints are unprotected by any guidance for ambulance attendance times.


By comparison, in England, the ambulance service’s four categories mark chest pains and strokes as category 2, which should be attended to within 18 minutes on average. Category 1 or life-threatening calls should be attended to within seven minutes. In Wales, there are only targets for what the Welsh Government calls ‘Red’ calls, which should be attended to within eight minutes.


Commenting, Mr George, who recently met with the Powys Manager of the Wales Ambulance Service, said:


“Ambulance staff work extremely hard, providing outstanding support, often in difficult circumstances, in an effort to deliver the best possible care to patients but they are simply not receiving adequate resources from the Welsh Government to do their job effectively.


"Reports that those with serious medical conditions, such as strokes, are waiting too long for a response to an Amber ambulance call because of the lack of ambulance response time targets in Wales for this category of medical condition, underlines the importance of the need for additional resources to be provided by the Welsh Government - both in terms of the number of ambulances on the road here in Mid Wales but also an increase in the number of paramedics and medical staff.


"The safety of patients is being threatened and I will continue to call on the Welsh Government to listen to expert advice and the calls of deservedly worried members of the public until such time as this very serious issue is addressed and target times for responses to Amber calls are put in place."