During today’s First Minister’s Questions in the Senedd Mark Drakeford was challenged by Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds over recent ambulance waiting statistics, which have reached their highest level in history.
Commenting in the Chamber Jane Dodds MS said:
“First Minister, imagine someone has just called 999 with chest pains. When would you expect an ambulance to arrive?
“I’m sure you’ll recognise that question from the Leader of the UK Labour Party, Keir Starmer, who asked the Prime Minister that same question last week. The Prime Minister refused him a straight answer.
“I’ll give the First Minister the answer to that question for Wales: – For the person who’s just called 999 with chest pains (an amber call) they will likely wait over an hour for that ambulance to arrive – at least half past 2.
“If the person who’d just called 999 was in a life-threatening situation, they could wait as long as 15 minutes in Powys. The target for those red calls is 8 minutes.
“The last time these targets were met was July 2020 and the figures have been in freefall ever since. This has been going on far too long, and the decision of hard-working ambulance staff to take industrial action shows that there is a real crisis in our health service. They work incredibly hard and I thank them all.
“So, First Minister, can you tell me when you expect these targets to be met? Will it be another 2 and a half years before you can meet your own Government’s target?”