Welsh Lib Dem leader Kirsty Williams AM has slammed the Labour Government after a Freedom of Information response reveals Brecon and Radnorshire ambulances are being called to emergencies up to 80 miles away.
he response shows that Ambulances from Brecon, Builth Wells, Ystradgynlais and Crickhowell cover an area (see link for map) from Cardiff City Centre and the Mumbles in the South, Monmouth in the East, Hermon (nr Newcastle Emlyn) in the West to Llanfyllin in the North.
Last month Kirsty wrote to the Health Minister asking him to ensure the people of Brecon and Radnorshire were not left short of cover. The Health Minister replied that it was a matter for the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust.
Commenting, Kirsty said:
"I asked for this information as a result of very concerned paramedics approaching me, worried that they were being asked to cover other areas for their entire shifts, leaving constituents in Brecon and Radnorshire potentially at risk.
"This information shows just how much cover South Powys Ambulances are expected to give. Some of the distances travelled by our paramedics are truly astonishing. A Brecon based ambulance was called to Llanfyllin in Mongomeryshire which is over 80 miles away!
"Last month, in Powys, just 57.9% of urgent calls were responded to within the 8 minute target. This is a long way behind the 65% Welsh Government target and a very long way behind the 75% target in England. This clearly shows that the figures for Powys need to improve and we do not have the luxury of providing cover for other areas.
"I raised this issue yesterday (Tuesday 9th July) in First Minister's Questions. It is a great shame that the Labour Health Minister is refusing to step in to protect people in Brecon and Radnorshire. "