ARGUS COMMENT: Ambulance trust must be open

ARGUS COMMENT: Ambulance trust must be open

ARGUS COMMENT: Ambulance trust must be open

First published in Gwent news

WE welcome First Minister Carwyn Jones’ assurance that he is to investigate the Welsh Ambulance Trust’s decision to spend £65,000 on hotel bills for two members of staff.

As we revealed on Saturday, the trust is accused of spending the money on putting up two members of staff at the Parkway Hotel, Cwmbran.

In one case the manager was said to have stayed at the hotel for four years. In an interview with the Argus Mr Jones said he wants to see more information about the spend, adding that on the surface it did not look like a good use of public money.

And we have to agree.

We accept there are occasions when public and private sector organisations have to place senior managers in hotels during staff shortages or relocation.

But doing that for four years, as is alleged, does seem excessive.

And we fully understand why local AMs are demanding answers.

We would also argue that the trust’s decision not to comment on the allegations, because they relate to individual staff, is short-sighted.

The trust, which is already facing investigation following the death of a baby after a long wait for an ambulance, often responds to criticism in such a manner, which is just not good enough.

In fact, what is needed is a public statement by the trust explaining why it took the actions it did.

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