Ambulance response times continue to slide

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Local AM Elin Jones has reacted with concern to news that ambulance response times continue to worsen, with Ceredigion’s figures again among the worst in Wales.

The Ambulance Trust’s target is to meet 65% of urgent calls within eight minutes. The figure for July was 58.3%, with some areas, including Ceredigion, dipping below 50%

The Welsh Government has announced plans for the ‘Alternative Transport Scheme’, which encourages low-priority patients to find other transport such as taxis or lifts, to be extended to north Wales in addition to the existing pilot project in the south-east.

Elin Jones, Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Health Minister, said: “The ambulance service is undoubtedly under ever-increasing stress. I welcome the investment in new vehicles and the recruitment of extra staff, but despite repeated promises from the Welsh Government, the performance of the ambulance service continues to be a matter of huge concern to my constituents in Ceredigion and across Wales.

“The issue needs to be looked at as a whole, with better integration with Health Boards in order to minimise delays in transferring patients."

She added: “We will be looking carefully at the results of the expanded trial of the ‘Alternative Transport Scheme’. While it’s understandable that the ambulance service should prioritise urgent cases, alternative means of transport aren’t always available to vulnerable people, and we have to make sure that areas such as Ceredigion aren’t further disadvantaged.”

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