Welsh government ministers must declare “ambulance emergency” say opposition politicians
The Senedd Conservatives will call on the Welsh Government to declare an “ambulance emergency” and bring forward a comprehensive plan to improve ambulance response times, increase bed capacity and address face-to-face primary care appointments.
Shadow Health Minister Russell George MS will lead a debate in the Welsh Parliament later today where he will detail the intense pressures on NHS Wales, focussing on the ambulance service, stories experienced by patients and paramedics, and steps to address the problems.
The Welsh Ambulance Service has confirmed today it is seeking to re-enlist military support to assist with its Covid-19 effort.
The Trust has submitted a request for additional support to Welsh Government under the Military Aid to the Civil Authorities (MACA) arrangement.
If approved, it will be the third time that soldiers have supported the service through the pandemic.
There have been 47,871 lost hours because of the delays in moving people from ambulances into hospitals in the first six months of this year, and only just over half of red calls – the most serious emergencies – reached their patients within the eight-minute target this July.
James Evans MS (Con, Brecon & Radnorshire) raised the case of a 92-year-old woman who fell with a suspected broken hip in the Senedd last week.
Her ambulance was called at 4pm. She remained in considerable pain, unable to move, travel by car, eat, or drink.
The ambulance did not arrive until the next morning because there were no ambulances across his entire constituency, the largest in Wales by area. There have been several other stories reported to local representatives across the nation.
Commenting ahead of the debate, Mr George said:
“Paramedics work incredibly hard and deserve recognition of their dedication in such challenging circumstances. ”
“However, the level of mismanagement from the Welsh Government is exacerbating what was already a postcode lottery into the “wild west” where grabbing a cab or hitching a ride is a better option than taking a punt on an ambulance.”
“There are serious long-standing issues in NHS Wales when it comes to staffing with 3,000 unfilled roles right now, but there are other issues such as the pent-up demand built up during lockdowns.”
“We are having this debate and making our calls because facing these challenges head-on rather than continuing to deny them is the only way we can move to addressing them.”
“From waiting hours in pain at home or stuck in the back of an ambulance waiting for A&E beds to come up, we will be highlighting the stories of constituents who have been badly let down and deserve to know how ministers plan to rectify the situation. Our calls do that and I hope the Welsh Government heeds them.” Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com