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Ambulance service on the brink – Kirsty Williams

April 24, 2013 10:46 AM

Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, Kirsty Williams, has branded the Welsh Labour Government's failure to address ambulance response times an 'absolute disgrace', as figures show that only just over half (53.3%) of ambulances responded within the 8 minute target - the worst response times since 2010.

This makes it the 10th successive month where the ambulance service has missed the important category A (immediately life-threatening) response target. The Welsh Labour Government's target is for 65% of category A calls to receive an ambulance response time within eight minutes.

Kirsty Williams AM commented:

"The Welsh Labour Government's failure to address ambulance response times is an absolute disgrace. This Welsh Labour Government has completely failed to get a grip on poor response times and the issue is only getting worse.

"I recognise that there were a large amount of calls in March with difficult weather conditions, but there really is no excuse for these appalling figures. Welsh Labour Ministers should hang their heads in shame.

"Fast ambulance response times often mean the difference between life and death. Targets here in Wales are already 10% behind those in England and Scotland, yet still Wales is nowhere near meeting these unaspiring targets. Why should the people of Wales have to put up with a Labour Government with such a poverty of ambition?

"Welsh Ambulance staff are working incredibly hard to deliver the best response times they can, but they are clearly working in a failing system that is getting in the way of them doing their job.

"The Health Minister announced yesterday that the Ambulance Review is expected to be published next month - the ninth review in six years. This must be the final one, lives are on the line here and we need results."