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Ambulance times are improving says government

Responding to claims by Plaid Cymru that ambulance waiting times for emergency calls are not being met the Welsh Government says the proportion of calls which resulted in a response of 20 minutes or longer represents 6.8% of calls received by the Welsh Ambulance Service.

While recent improvements in performance are encouraging, more needs to be done to ensure performance improves in the long term. The Minister for Health and Social Services has accepted a number of recommendations made following the recent review of Welsh Ambulance Services, with focus on delivering a clinical service to ensure patients receive the right response, at the right time and in the right place.

There is wide agreement that the eight minute target should not be seen as the only measure of ambulance performance. While speed is particularly important for some conditions such as cardiac arrest, there is little clinical evidence to suggest other less acute conditions would benefit from a blanket eight minute response. We are currently exploring how ambulance service performance can be measured to better reflect the outcome for the patient, not just the speed of arrival.

– Welsh Government spokesperson

Emergencies response times 'disturbing' claim

Plaid Cymru say one emergency call took seven hours to respond to. Credit: PA

More than 11,000 emergency calls in Wales took ambulances more than 20 minutes to respond to, according to figures obtained by Plaid Cymru.

One Category A call took 7 hours to reach in the Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board area while another in Cwm Taf took over four hours figures out today reveal.

Plaid Cymru submitted a Freedom of Information request to find out how many calls were responded to within 10 minutes - eight minutes is the target, 10-20 minutes, 20-30 minutes and more than 30 minutes.

Elin Jones, Plaid's Shadow Health spokesperson, said: "To have more than 11,000 of the most urgent calls taking more than double the target time of eight minutes to respond to is disturbing. These calls can be life and death situations where time is crucial.

Last month The Welsh Government said more needed to be done to raise the performance of ambulance response times. Figures released in May revealed they had missed their target for eleven months in a row.

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