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Welsh Ambulance Services Response Times Continue to Deteriorate

More Than 1-Hour Waits Not Unusual

THE WELSH AMBULANCE SERVICES TRUST has consitently failed to meet target response times in the past year.  A review of ambulance responses just for Class A emergencies – immediately life-threatening – disclosed that the last time they met the Welsh Government's target of 65 per cent of ambulances arriving at the scene within eight minutes was last achieved last May.

Worse is the number of incidents where the wait was for an hour or more.  After prying out the facts through a Freedom of Information Act request, it was found that there were 262 instances across Wales of waits of more than an hour for an ambulance (for Class A calls) during 2012.

BBC News

The South Wales Argus is reporting today:

A patient having a suspected cardiac arrest had to wait more than three hours for an ambulance to attend, new figures showed..

And some waited longer than two and three hours, with conditions including the suspected cardiac/ respiratory arrest, overdose/ poisoning, and chest pain.  A wait in Newport of five hours and 23 minutes from a GP for a patient admission through the high dependency service was the second-longest of all the waits of longer than an hour.

A category A call for a suspected cardiac/respiratory arrest, requiring a response from a hazardous area response team resulted in a wait of 3hr 3min.  A suspected overdose/poisoning in Caerphilly county borough had a response time of 2hr 20 min.

Several category A calls for chest pain are included in the list too, with a wait of 2hr 3min in Newport, and waits of 1hr 47min in Newport and Blaenau Gwent among the longest.

Read the entire article HERE.

The usual rumblings and grumblings from the local politicians are continuing without any effect on the situation.  BBC News also reports:

Before the latest figures were announced, Roy Norris, former chair of the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust, said people would be wrong to think that the simple answer was to have more ambulances.

He said the Welsh government review of the service would probably look at why ambulances are sometimes forced to wait long periods outside busy hospitals with patients waiting to be admitted.

"There has got to be an entire system review of why it is ambulances are held, why hospitals can't clear people through the emergency department and it will probably be looking at why people can't be discharged from hospital when they are ready to be discharged," he told BBC Radio Wales.

However, it has been pointed out that the WAS has reduced its ambulance fleet from 256 units to 244 and has closed seven ambulance stations.

Welsh Ambulance Service WEBSITE.

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