First Minister Carwyn Jones has acknowledged that some patients will be affected "adversely" by ambulance delays. He said such cases should always be investigated and lessons learnt. He was responding to a question in the Senedd from Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies about recent cases of people waiting 10 hours or more for an ambulance because they were classified as amber, rather than red, under the call handling system.
Mr Davies raised a 20 hour wait in west Wales and two cases in the Vale of Glamorgan, the most recent involving a woman with a broken hip.
The Conservative leader said the problem was caused by ambulances having to wait outside A&E departments for patients to be admitted. He said that the Welsh NHS had lost 1,000 nurses in three years, leaving hospitals unable to cope with the increasing number of patients.
The First Minister insisted that there were more nurses than ever working in the Welsh NHS. He suggested that the real problem was delayed transfers of care, when patients who no longer need medical care can't be discharged from hospital because the social care that they need isn't ready in time.