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Lives 'at risk' from ambulance flaws

7th July 2009

Roger Thayne, who quit his post as head of the Welsh Ambulance Service in 2006, has said deaths are still occurring because of poor levels of care.

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When Mr Thayne left his post three years ago he said an "earthquake" was required in order to improve services.

BBC Wales' Week In Week Out programme asked him to come back and look at how services had progressed.

Mr Thayne said ongoing poor standards were "definitely costing lives".

When he left his job in 2006 he said that "dire" services were putting 500 lives in danger annually and it needed £35 million in investment to improve.

Upon reviewing the service, Mr Thayne said he was shocked by what he saw and had not seen any improvement on key indicators.

"There were promises from the Welsh Assembly Government to take action but nothing seems to have changed, " he said.

"What I am surprised about is why the Welsh Assembly Government and the people of Wales put up with this."

Statistics have revealed that the Welsh Ambulance Service came last in a review of paramedic services in England and Wales, despite significant improvements in the last quarter.

Of the people who dialled 999 40% had to wait too long to receive assistance and ambulance response times have not improved since 2006.

 

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