Monday, February 12, 2007

Ambulance Response Times Put Residents At Risk

Last year a footballer with a broken leg had to wait for 40 minutes on a cold pitch in Llanwddyn for an ambulance to arrive. Last month a family near Llanwddyn waited 50 minutes for an ambulance to attend an emergency call. Will the next occasion be 60 minutes or even more?

I have no doubt that the ambulance crews themselves are doing a sterling job but the management of the service leaves much to be desired. It is true that for 360 days of the year perhaps we may only need a routine service but on the other five we expect an emergency response from what is, after all, an emergency service.

The whole of the north-west of Montgomeryshire, including the accident blackspots of Lake Vyrnwy and Pistyll Rhaeadr, is being put at risk because of the down-grading of the Llanfyllin Ambulance Station and this needs to be re-examined urgently.

In 2003 the Labour Assembly Government promsed that ambulances would meet their response time targets in 65% of life-threatening situations by March 2005. Latest figures show it is actually happening on just 54% of such occasions. Something is seriously wrong and it requires immediate action.

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