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Ambulance guidelines changed following inquest into MP's mother's death

The Welsh Ambulance Service has responded to the claims of a Conservative MP that her 'mother died under the Welsh NHS.' Details of Anne Main's comments click here.

An inquest into the death of Ms Main's mother, Rita Wiseman, found there were faults with the ambulance which attended her but they did not contribute to her death. You can read Wales Online coverage of the inquest by clicking here.

Following Anne Main's comments during Prime Minister's Questions, Richard Lee, Head of Clinical Services at the Welsh Ambulance Service, said:

We deeply regret the failure of this piece of equipment, and our thoughts and condolences remain with Mrs Main and her family.

The Trust has spent £4 million in the last two years updating the clinical equipment on our emergency ambulances.

Our ambulances are among the best equipped in the UK, and we have robust systems in place to ensure that faulty equipment is serviced and repaired in line with the manufacturers’ recommendations.

The Trust has a procedure in place to allow crews time to check the equipment on their vehicle at the beginning of their shift, and staff are being reminded about their responsibilities to do this.

We are in the process of producing specific guidance on the pre-use check of vacuum mattresses, the piece of equipment in question at the inquest into the death of Mrs Wiseman, and anticipate that this will be shared with staff early next week.

Since April the Trust has recruited 86 staff into its workforce across Wales, including 43 staff into its Urgent Care Service, all of whom will be operational by the end of the month; 39 Paramedics, including 11 HEI (Higher Education Institute) Paramedics, all of whom will be operational by next February; and four Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), who will be operational by next April.

A further 16 Paramedics will be appointed in the coming weeks and are expected to be operational by February, and 44 EMTs will also be officially appointed, all of whom will be operational by next April.

In addition, we are continuing to upgrade our fleet with thanks to a £4 million investment from Welsh Government, which will enable the service to buy 41 new vehicles, including emergency ambulances and specialist rapid response vehicles, to replace existing ambulance fleet.

We would like to reassure the public that we are fully committed to providing a safe and high quality ambulance service for the people of Wales.

– Richard Lee, Head of Clinical Services at the Welsh Ambulance Service