Final warning for ambulance services25th June 2008
A deadline of six months has been given to the Welsh Ambulance Service to meet its performance targets.
While overall performance improvements had been noted, Welsh Assembly Government health minister Edwina Hart said that response times in many areas remained "far from acceptable".
The assembly had found evidence of poor staff morale and the existence of a bullying culture.
The key points of a review into the service found that the trust needed to: work harder to match demand and supply; address training and development issues; address difficulties surrounding the expansion of the Community First Responder scheme; invest in new vehicles; and further develop clinical governance.
Ms Hart said: "I expect to see demonstrable improvement within the next six months, particularly in rural Wales, where too many people are still waiting too long for a response from the emergency ambulance service.
"The report highlights that the number and speed of changes has had a serious adverse effect on staff morale, and that there are issues of poor people management and perceptions of a bullying culture."
The ambulance trust welcomed the review but accepted there was still work to be done.
The review was ordered in November 2007 following a critical report by the Wales Audit Office, which found that a lack of direction and leadership had led to poor performance.
Mike Ponton, director of the Welsh NHS Confederation, said the trust now needed to be given "time, stability and funding from the minister" to meet the challenging targets that it had now been set.
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Title: Final warning for ambulance services
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 7281
Date Added: 25th Jun 2008