Local emergency patients with “immediately life-threatening” conditions had to wait even longer for ambulances to arrive in February this year than they did in December according to new figures released by ambulance service
From December 2017 to February 2018 a total of 34 emergency patients in Cardiff and the Vale – whose lives were in the balance – had to wait over 15 minutes for an ambulance: that’s almost twice the Welsh Labour Government’s 8-minute “target” time for the highest priority so-called “red” callers.
Conservative leader in the Welsh Assembly Andrew R T Davies (AM for South Wales Central which inclides Penarth) says the Welsh Labour Government must take responsibility for what he describes as “deeply worrying” ambulance response times in Cardiff and the Vale.
In the same December to February period 483 patients – designated as “amber” [ the next most serious category of patient] – had to wait for more than 6 hours. This category of patients includes those suffering from strokes and heart attacks.
A total of 85 people in the Cardiff and Vale area had to wait over 10 hours for an ambulance to turn up.
Some such cases have already made headline news – including an 82 year-old Dinas Powys resident Hugh Mackie (who had to wait over 20 hours for an ambulance) and an 88 year-old Cowbridge resident Kathleen Dweck (who had to wait all night with a broken leg until an ambulance arrived 10 hours after it had been called).
Andrew R T Davies says “Over the past few weeks – there have been a number of notable incidents involving constituents – who had to wait unacceptably long times for an ambulance to arrive.
The minister responsible for the NHS in Wales – and the ambulance service – is Vaughan Gething (Labour AM for Cardiff South and Penarth)
Andrew R T Davies says “The Welsh Government must take notice – get their heads out of the sand – and get a grip with what is an incredibly serious situation.”
Mr Davies says the blame lies not with the ambulance service itself. He says “Our hardworking paramedics and ambulance teams always go the extra mile – but there are clearly problems at the top that need addressing.”
Meanwhile it’s been revealed that the Welsh Labour Government is refusing to repair vital electronic monitoring equipment carried by all ambulance crews.
The equipment concerned measures patients’ heart-rates and oxygen saturation or “SATS” [ i.e. how much oxygen there is in their blood] and is connected to a portable computer which is taken into the homes of patients and which displays all their vital data.
Welsh NHS Ambulance crews say that when their “SATS” monitoring equipment fails, the Welsh Labour Government has told the ambulance crews it will not be repaired or replaced and they must use a separate SATS and heart-rate monitor which is not integrated into the computerised monitoring system – and requires the data to be input manually, therefore adding to the cumulative delays.