Posted: Mon 13th Mar 2017

Welsh Ambulance bosses dismiss claims of a cut to night-time ambulance cover in Flintshire

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, Mar 13th, 2017

The Welsh Ambulance service has dismissed claims by Plaid Cymru’s North Wales AM Llyr Gruffydd that one of the four night-time ambulances in Flintshire will be withdrawn from service at 2am from April.

Mr Gruffydd will be raising the matter with health minister Vaughan Gething, who he believed was unaware of the proposed change. He said;

“The decision to make one of the four night-time ambulances effectively an evening shift is a 25% reduction in the cover for Flintshire at night.”

This has implications as well for Wrexham crews, who I’m told have to cover for Flintshire from the depot in Dobshill near Buckley.

This is on top of reductions to the service when four stations in Flintshire were closed and the service was centralised at Dobshill.”

He added:

“The Welsh Ambulance Service Trust management should be open and honest with the public about this move rather than trying to sneak it through without debate.

It’s irresponsible and dangerous to expect crews to deal with 25% more work and stretch this important and much-valued service beyond breaking point.”

The Welsh Ambulance service said no ambulances are being cut but small alterations are being made to shifts on a trial basis right across Wales to reflect demand.

They also say services have not reduced since the Dobshill Area Ambulance Centre was opened “all resourcing levels remained the same.”

The Trust took on around 20 additional fleet staff who clean, service and restock ambulances, allowing crews to spend more time providing clinical care for patients in Flintshire.

Richard Lee, the Welsh Ambulance Trust’s Director of Operations said:

“We would like to reassure members of the community that no ambulance hours are being lost in Flintshire.

What we are doing right across Wales is trialling some changes to shift start and finish times as a result of an in-depth review to better match our resources to when we experience periods of high demand.

None of these trials will result in reduced hours and the aim is that this will result in an improved service for patients by providing the right level of coverage at the right times.

These changes have been agreed in partnership with our staff representatives and will be reviewed during and at the end of the trial period to ensure they achieve the planned improvements.”

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