Labour in denial about state of the ambulance service


Plaid Cymru’s Health spokesperson has accused Labour of being in denial about the problems facing the Welsh Ambulance Service after their manifesto claimed the services was ‘consistently achieving targets.’  Helen Mary Jones, who is standing for re-election in the Llanelli constituency, said that it is difficult to see how Labour is going to make a start on improving standards in the Welsh NHS if they refuse to recognise the problems.


In contrast to Labour’s claims, under their leadership the Welsh Ambulance Service has actually failed to hit its response time targets for 999 emergency calls for 3 of the past 4 months. There has been vocal criticism of the way the service has been supported by Labour in government.  Plaid Cymru’s Helen Mary Jones said Wales could not afford to risk another five years of Labour failing on ambulance services.


Plaid Cymru’s Health spokesperson, Helen Mary Jones, said:


"I'm at a loss to understood how Labour thinks it can "move the Ambulance Service from being just a provider of transport to a deliverer of emergency health services" if the service stays seperate from all the other emergency health providers who answer to the Local Health Boards.


“Labour has consistently failed to address the deep rooted problems that face the Welsh Ambulance Service.  To say that it has consistently been achieving its targets it quite simply untrue.  Labour is either in denial about this issue or it is deliberately trying to mislead the electorate about their poor performance.


“The frightening reality of the situation is that Labour has allowed the ambulance service to fail, and has put our hard working front line paramedics under pressure.  Labour’s failure simply cannot be rewarded with another five years to manage the decline of our health services.


“The ambulance service has missed its targets for 999 responses within 8 minutes for three of the past four recorded months.  On one occasion in November the Welsh average was below 50%.  In my home area of Carmarthenshire over the past 13 months, 11 have seen the service fail to hit its response times.  That is simply an unacceptable failure on behalf of Labour.


“We cannot fault the dedication of front line staff but they need direction, leadership and support from government, something Labour has failed to deliver.  Plaid Cymru has called for the abolition of the ambulance trust because we believe decisions on the ambulance service should be taken by local health professionals who have the right local knowledge to provide an improved service.  It is just wrong of Labour to try and pretend that there isn’t a problem here.”






From Labour’s manifesto:


While WAST is consistently achieving targets, we will continue to move the ambulance service from being just a provider of transport to a deliverer of emergency health services