Gwent ambulance times ‘disastrous’

EMERGENCY ambulance response times in Gwent have plummeted during the past year, with performance in two council areas at its worst since severe winter weather caused havoc for the service three and a half years ago.

In Blaenau Gwent in May, an ambulance or rapid response vehicle reached the scene of just four out of every 10 category A emergency calls inside the standard eight minutes, while in Monmouthshire the rate was only slightly higher at 42.4 per cent.

These were the worst figures for these areas since December 2010, when snow and freezing temperatures caused big problems, and the worst of Wales’ 22 council areas compared to 12 months earlier.

Year on year, all five council areas in Gwent experienced big falls in performance compared to May 2013.

In May last year, 61.3 per cent of category A calls in Blaenau Gwent were reached inside the standard eight minutes, and the 21.3 per cent fall this May is the biggest in Wales. Year-on-year performance was down 12.4 per cent in Monmouthshire, 9.8 per cent in Caerphilly, 7.8 per cent in Torfaen, and 7.1 per cent in Newport.

Gwent-wide, just under half (49.1 per cent) of the 2,701 category A calls for which there was an ‘at scene’ response, arrived inside eight minutes.

Sixty per cent of such calls should be reached inside eight minutes in individual areas, with a 65 per cent target set for Wales.

South Wales East AM William Graham said it was “alarming” that parts of Gwent had consistently low ambulance response rates, despite service reviews or re-alignments.

Conservative shadow health minister Darren Millar AM said: “Patients in Wales have had to put up with almost two years of a substandard emergency service because of a lack of investment from Labour ministers and a failure to address logjams at A&E departments.”

Plaid Cymru health spokesman Elin Jones AM called the figures “disastrous” and added: “Behind these statistics are real patients who have waited too long for life-saving emergency treatment.” While Welsh Liberal Democrats leader Kirsty Williams AM called the figures “a national disgrace.”

A Welsh Government spokesman acknowledged that the May figures were “disappointing”. “There is more health boards can do to help but the Welsh Ambulance Service itself needs to demonstrate urgent improvement in its performance,” he said.

Comments (5)

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3:12pm Thu 26 Jun 14

Bobevans says...

What's new. It has gone on for several years with the situation getting steadily
worse. Every health minister has said they have put in an action program to fix it,It all then goes quiet. What the action plans are who knows. They never see the light of day. Let them publish the plan and the millstones on it so that it can be monitored. More realistically it is just hot air
What's new. It has gone on for several years with the situation getting steadily worse. Every health minister has said they have put in an action program to fix it,It all then goes quiet. What the action plans are who knows. They never see the light of day. Let them publish the plan and the millstones on it so that it can be monitored. More realistically it is just hot air Bobevans
  • Score: 1

5:14pm Thu 26 Jun 14

Crossbenchtory says...

In 2011, after a fatal RTC involving a family member which took the ambulance service 30 minutes to arrive at, my Wife and I were told by both Lesley Griffiths (then Minister for Health) and the head of the ambulance service in Torfaen that lessons had been learned and improvements put in place.

Well it's been 3 years and I see no improvements!!

It is time that these shabby amateurs were prosecuted, for offences such as negligent manslaughter, as I am sure that my Wife and I are not the only people in Wales who have been left in the situation of never knowing if our family member would have survived had medical treatment been rendered in a timely fashion.
Maybe the only way to get through to people like Comrade Drakeford is to lock them up for their ineptitude, that may focus their successors minds on solving the problems rather than making excuses!!
In 2011, after a fatal RTC involving a family member which took the ambulance service 30 minutes to arrive at, my Wife and I were told by both Lesley Griffiths (then Minister for Health) and the head of the ambulance service in Torfaen that lessons had been learned and improvements put in place. Well it's been 3 years and I see no improvements!! It is time that these shabby amateurs were prosecuted, for offences such as negligent manslaughter, as I am sure that my Wife and I are not the only people in Wales who have been left in the situation of never knowing if our family member would have survived had medical treatment been rendered in a timely fashion. Maybe the only way to get through to people like Comrade Drakeford is to lock them up for their ineptitude, that may focus their successors minds on solving the problems rather than making excuses!! Crossbenchtory
  • Score: 3

6:02pm Thu 26 Jun 14

Aquarius says...

Of course, everything would be SO much better under the Tories (or the Lib Dems), wouldn't it?
Of course, everything would be SO much better under the Tories (or the Lib Dems), wouldn't it? Aquarius
  • Score: -3

8:18pm Thu 26 Jun 14

Crossbenchtory says...

Aquarius wrote:
Of course, everything would be SO much better under the Tories (or the Lib Dems), wouldn't it?
I would suggest that Wales would be better off run by 60 Infant School children than the current lot of intellectual vacuums.

Tory, LibDem and Plaid AM's are every bit as culpable as Labour for the cluster***k that is Wales' current situation. None of these parties have offered any rational alternative to Labours disasterous socialist experiment.
[quote][p][bold]Aquarius[/bold] wrote: Of course, everything would be SO much better under the Tories (or the Lib Dems), wouldn't it?[/p][/quote]I would suggest that Wales would be better off run by 60 Infant School children than the current lot of intellectual vacuums. Tory, LibDem and Plaid AM's are every bit as culpable as Labour for the cluster***k that is Wales' current situation. None of these parties have offered any rational alternative to Labours disasterous socialist experiment. Crossbenchtory
  • Score: 1

9:02am Mon 30 Jun 14

signal box says...

The minister has given an ultimatum to improve by his September report to the assembly, But if they don't his he going to replace the Ex Police Supt. Ex Civil Servants and Staff who have no ambulance operational qualification or experience with staff who can tick all the required boxes.
I don't think we will see any improvement but maybe manipulation of MPDS codes to reach the standards.
The minister has given an ultimatum to improve by his September report to the assembly, But if they don't his he going to replace the Ex Police Supt. Ex Civil Servants and Staff who have no ambulance operational qualification or experience with staff who can tick all the required boxes. I don't think we will see any improvement but maybe manipulation of MPDS codes to reach the standards. signal box
  • Score: 0
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