AMBULANCE rapid response vehicle numbers in Monmouth and Chepstow could be cut by half, according to reports.

Planned cuts, which the Welsh Ambulance Service has branded a "national roster review", will, according to Monmouthshire Conservative politicians, "put countless lives at risk".

The ambulance service has said that it is not their intention "to provide a lesser service to the people of Monmouth and Chepstow".

However, the region's Tories claim that the cuts will leave both ambulance stations with just one rapid response vehicle each.

Rapid response vehicles are those which travel to emergencies before a typical ambulance, and are able to start emergency treatment without the help of an ambulance crew. They generally look like regular cars rather than the larger ambulance vehicles.

Cllr Richard John, leader of Monmouthshire County Council, and Peter Fox, MS for Monmouth, have now written an urgent letter to the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust, where they warn “downgrading these two stations would surely put lives of some of the most vulnerable people in Monmouthshire at risk”.


Cllr John said: "Removing the rapid response vehicles would severely impact on the capacity to respond to the most urgent life-threatening calls because of just one vehicle is out, the area is left with no ambulance cover whatsoever.

"Many of our older residents don’t drive and would be reliant on an ambulance in a medical emergency.

“The Trust need to reconsider these plans as a matter of urgency because what they’re proposing is not only unfit for purpose, it’s downright dangerous.”

Mr Fox added: “This is a very poor move and one that will prove disastrous, should it materialise.

“This move towards centralisation will leave rural authorities extremely vulnerable, with countless lives being put at risk.”

Jason Killens, chief executive of the Welsh Ambulance Service, said: “Our priority has and always will be to provide a safe service to the people of Wales.

“We are currently undertaking a national roster review which aims to ensure that our resources are best placed geographically to meet demand, and are doing so in partnership with staff, Trade Union colleagues and commissioners.

“We will be engaging with Cllr John and MS Fox to help them better understand the process and hear more about their concerns."