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Welsh Ambulance Service misses time target

31st January 2013

The performance of the Welsh Ambulance Service has fallen under the spotlight over failures to meet response time targets.

Ambulance

Latest data shows it has not hit targets for the most urgent cases the past seven months, with figures for December showing it responded to only 56.1% of Category A calls within eight minutes compared to a target of 65% - down 2.3% from November.

The ambulance service hit back, pointing to “significant pressure” and said that the 38,135 emergency incidents (of which 15,600 were Category A) it dealt with across Wales in December was up almost 12% on the 34,168 it attended in November.

A spokesman said: “In recent months, the healthcare system across Wales has faced significant pressure with increased cases of winter-related illnesses, such as flu and sickness viruses, and the ambulance service in general continues to experience a higher volume of calls.”

The Welsh Ambulance Service has sought to reassure the public that it is committed to improving the service but has also urged people to only dial 999 and attend Emergency Departments for life threatening and serious illnesses and injuries.

Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams acknowledged paramedics and technical staff faced immense pressure and had to “to work with increasingly stretched resources.”

The worst performance area was Rhondda Cynon Taf where ambulances responded to just 43.5% of the most urgent calls within eight minutes, compared to Wrexham which was best with a 72% response rate.

The Welsh Conservatives say the number of ambulances has dropped in Wales from 256 to 244.

 

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