Elin Jones, Ceredigion’s Member of the Senedd, will meet with the chief executive of the Welsh Ambulance Trust to raise her concerns about the future of services in the county.

There are currently four Ambulance Stations which are staffed 24/7 in Ceredigion, including Aberystwyth and Cardigan, with two crews each in the day and one at night, as well as New Quay and Lampeter with one crew each in the day and one at night.

Ms Jones said she understands that the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust has plans to take away an ambulance crew each from Aberystwyth and Cardigan during the day, and to no longer provide Urgent Care Service (UCS) cover outside of daytime weekday hours.

However, Jason Killens, Chief Executive of the Welsh Ambulance Service has said there are no proposals in place to reduce ambulance services in Ceredigion.

“On the contrary, as a service we are continuing to grow," he said.

“By March 2022 we would have concluded a two year national recruitment process of 263 Emergency Medical Service (EMS) staff – which was the number of structural gaps in our relief rate identified by the 2019 Demand & Capacity Review we undertook with our commissioners and Trade Union partners.

“We have also added over 100 staff into our 111 service and more into our Clinical Contact Centres handling 999 calls.

“Since the 2019 Review, demand on the unscheduled care system has increased dramatically and in conjunction with our Commissioners, the Welsh Ambulance Service has agreed to re-open the Review and update it to better reflect the current picture.

“We remain committed to keeping our communities and their representatives up-to-date and will be meeting with Elin Jones MS later this month to discuss her concerns in more detail.”

Ms Jones has voiced her concern that plans to reduced ambulance services will endanger lives and increase the burden on paramedics working in Ceredigion.

She said: “I’m very concerned to hear that there are currently proposals to reduce the number of ambulances in Ceredigion, namely to reduce the number active in the day by two, leaving Aberystwyth and Cardigan with one each during the day.

"I also understand that there will no longer be Urgent Care Service cover outside of daytime weekday hours.

“Over the summer, I have heard of several reports of constituents who have had to wait for many hours for an ambulance response.

"The paramedics are always praised for their work, but the time to respond is sometimes dangerously long.

"If day ambulance cover is reduced by over 30% in Ceredigion then that will have a serious deteriorating impact on ambulance response times.

“As I understand it, Ceredigion based ambulance crews regularly cross the border into Powys, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire leaving Ceredigion with no cover.

"To add to this, the inter-hospital transfers that crews undertake for the trauma network and for specialist cardiac care can take crews away from their station for many hours at a time.

“I have heard that crews are already working well over the end of their shifts, and that there are often long waits for crews outside hospital preventing them from responding to any outstanding emergencies.

“I can only surmise that these proposed changes will only serve to increase pressure on staff and endanger patients.

"To lose these two ambulances during the day and further cover for urgent care in the evenings and on weekends is not acceptable and poses a danger to lives in Ceredigion.”