The Shadow Health Minister says that after a long line of reviews into the Welsh ambulance service, it's time for government action. But Darren Millar says the problems need to be seen as part of the overall challenge of providing emergency care.
Scores of ambulances are stacked up outside our emergency departments, response times have fallen to a disgraceful low, and unwanted hospital closures and downgrading are set to increase ambulance travelling times and make the situation worse. Patient care and safety is being put at risk.
The Welsh Liberal Democrat leader, Kirsty Williams, also stressed the need for action after multiple reviews. And Plaid Cymru's Health Spokesperson, Elin Jones, wanted to know what recommendations the Welsh Government will accept.
What matters now is that the people of Wales see action from the Welsh Labour Government and an improvement in this crucial service. Ambulance response rates in Wales are the worst throughout the UK and consecutive Labour Health Ministers have failed to get to grips with the problem.This is the 9th review we have seen into the Ambulance service in Wales in the last 6 years. Let us hope this is the last review because what we need now is action not more empty words and futile strategies.”
Some recommendations are really useful, such as the recommendation to give more resources to enable the training of paramedics and a more workable relationship between local health boards and the ambulance service. We have no indication as yet which of the many options proposed in the McClelland report the Minister will implement.**
Although it commissioned the report, there has been no response yet from the Welsh Government. The Health Minister, Mark Drakeford isn't expected to comment publicly until AMs debate the report next week.
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Representatives of the Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat, Plaid Cymru, Wales Greens and UKIP parties will debate on April 22.