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Welsh 'flying doctors' save 600 lives in six months

Wales' 'flying doctors' service has saved the lives of more than 600 people in its first six months, officials have said.

The service has introduced pioneering equipment and treatments developed from armed forces emergency medical care. Credit: PA

The Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service (EMRTS) sees doctors and specialists go on board air ambulances and provide treatment at the scene of an incident usually only available in hospitals.

Missions have included carrying out surgical procedures at the roadside and 82 emergency anaesthetics.

Doctors first joined Wales Air Ambulance Charity flights in April for the scheme, which also involves NHS Wales, the Welsh Government and the Welsh Blood Service.

During the first six months, hundreds of people from right across Wales have been given life-saving treatment by highly skilled consultants and a wider medical team at the scene of an emergency, using some of the most advanced medical equipment available anywhere in the world.

– Vaughan Gething AM, Deputy Health Minister
  1. National

Winter deaths 'highest since 1999'

There were an estimated 43,900 excess winter deaths across England and Wales in 2014 - the highest number since 1999.

extra deaths across England and Wales in winter 2014.

The number of excess deaths was a jump of 151% on the previous winter, and the biggest year-on-year rise since 1967/68.

The majority of deaths occurred in people aged 75 or over, and respiratory diseases were the underlying cause of death in more than a third of cases, the figures from the Office for National Statistics show.

Excess winter deaths are defined by the ONS as the number of people whose deaths were registered between December and March, compared with the numbers for the previous three months and the following three months.

Ambulance service exceeds time target following changes

The Welsh Ambulance Service has exceeded its time target for responding to life-threatening emergencies following changes to the service.

Figures for October show 68.7% emergency calls were responded to within eight minutes - the target is 65% - with the average response time five minutes and 44 seconds.

Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

The service has repeatedly come under fire for missing its targets, and earlier this year it was announced that the target response time for non-life-threatening cases would be dropped as part of a year-long pilot.

Ambulance crews still aim to respond to immediately life-threatening conditions, such as a heart attack, within eight minutes.

Deputy health minister Vaughan Gething said today's figures show the new system is working.


Mum's campaign to improve support for carers

A mother from Cardiff is calling for major improvements in the support offered to families with seriously ill children.

Sian Taylor's six-year-old son has a rare genetic condition which means he can't walk, talk or eat independently. She's among an army of carers across Wales who face daily challenges in looking after those they love.

She's among an army of carers across Wales who face daily challenges in looking after those they love.

The social media campaign #NotANurse_But is trying to raise awareness of just how much carers do.

  1. Nick Powell

Wales won't get extra NHS money says First Minister

First Minister Carwyn Jones has told AMs that the Welsh Government will get almost no more money as a result of the UK Government's announcement of extra funding for the English NHS. Increases in England lead to matching percentage increases for Wales under the Barnett Formula but Mr Jones said they'd be cancelled out by cuts in other parts of the English health budget. The First Minister dismissed as naïve a call from the Conservative leader for any extra money to be given to the Welsh NHS.

Today the Chancellor has announced £3.8 billion worth of extra money for the English NHS in the next financial year. There will be a Barnett consequential for that uplift. Will you commit to ringfencing that money in the next budget round so that it is put into the Welsh NHS?

– Conservative Leader Andrew RT Davies AM

Is he saying to us today that there will be a full consequential to Wales as a result of the Comprehensive Spending Review? Because our understanding is entirely different. What was being trailed on the radio this morning is that there will be cuts in public health and medical education and that money will be transferred to the NHS budget. There will be no consequential if that happens. So if he thinks there will be a consequential in those circumstances, I'm afraid his naïvety overtakes his perception.

– First Minister Carwyn Jones AM
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