Following shocking figures which show that the Welsh Government has once again failed to meet its ambulance response times target, Elin Jones, Ceredigion’s local AM and Plaid Cymru Shadow Health Minister, has challenged the Health Minister to set a target for improving ambulance response times.

The latest figures on response times to the most serious ‘Category A’ calls show the worst performance in over a year. The Welsh Government’s target is for 65% of serious calls to be responded to within 8 minutes, but this month the response time fell to 54.1%.

The Minister has set himself a target of three months for a trajectory of improvement.

Plaid Cymru AM for Ceredigion, Elin Jones said:

“The Welsh Government has struggled to meet its ambulance response targets for many, many months, and the latest figures show a particularly bad performance.

“It doesn’t have to be like this – in Scotland where conditions for the ambulance service are more challenging, ambulances are now able to arrive within 8 minutes over 70% of the time as a result of the stronger governance of the health service that the Scottish Government has introduced.

“We have an ambulance service which is facing real challenges in turning itself around. I know that Ambulance Trust management are aware that improvements need to be made, and also that the co-operation between the ambulance service and the rest of the NHS needs to be improved so that paramedics’ time isn’t wasted waiting at hospitals.

“I understand that over the next few months, new staff will be recruited and trained to boost the service in Ceredigion. I look forward to seeing positive results – for too long the ambulance service hasn’t been given enough priority by the Welsh Government.

“I’m glad that the Minister has now set a target for improvement. For every failed target there are hundreds of patients who have waited too long for emergency medical attention, and the Minister must treat this as an extremely serious matter. I expect the Minister to do everything in his power to deliver significant improvements by September.”