The Health Minister, Mark Drakeford, has told AMs that "sustained extreme weather conditions" explain why only 52.8% of ambulances responding to category A emergencies last month got to the patient within the eight minute target. He was answering an urgent question in the Senedd.
It ill-behoves us, sitting here in the comfort of the National Assembly, to take no account of the conditions which people delivering those services faced during February.
Kirsty Williams, for the Liberal Democrats, said that the Welsh Government had not been able to deliver the ambulance service that Wales needs and deserves. The Conservatives and Plaid Cymru both argued that ambulance times should not have got worse since January, when there was also bad weather.
The Minister said there had been a cumulative effect and he had come close to suspending response time targets altogether on police advice. Earlier today he announced new targets, for how soon a patient receives effective treatment, which he said were more relevant than ambulance response times.
The eight minute target does nothing to help outcomes for the patients... [but] ...as we have moved out of February and into March the performance has improved.
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Figures out today show the percentage of patients not being seen within the target time of four hours were the lowest on record.
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