Local Assembly Member for Monmouth, Nick Ramsay, has expressed his concern that lack of ambulance response time targets are putting stroke sufferers and others suffering from serious medical conditions at unnecessary risk.
Figures revealed recently by the Welsh Conservative Party show that the Welsh Government’s failure to follow NHS England’s four-tier categorisation system means that sufferers of numerous serious medical complaints are unprotected by any guidance for ambulance attendance times.
As well as stroke victims, amber calls in Wales relate to suffers of chest pains, choking, fitting, poisoning and overdoses, and even some stabbing and gunshot trauma.
By comparison, in England, the ambulance service’s four categories mark chest pains and strokes as category 2, which should be attended to within 18 minutes on average. Category 1 or life-threatening calls should be attended to within seven minutes. In Wales there are only targets for what the Welsh Government calls ‘Red’ calls, which should be attended to within eight minutes.
Speaking today Nick said: “ I was shocked to learn that in July 2019 statistics revealed that in the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board area 56.8% of ambulances took longer than thirty minutes to arrive for amber calls.
“ Given that a stoke is a medical emergency requiring appropriate treatment as quickly as possible in a specialist stroke unit, I find the delays many patients are experiencing to be extremely worrying.
“ The Welsh Government needs to reinstate targets for amber calls without delay.”