Emergency ambulance response times in February were the worst they have been since a new system was introduced in 2011, figures published today have shown.
Just 51.2% of emergency responses to Category A (immediately life-threatening) calls in Neath Port Talbot and 52.5% in Bridgend arrived at the scene within 8 minutes. This is despite the target being for 65% of ambulances to arrive within that time. The all-Wales figures are the worst since a new classification system was introduced in 2011.
South Wales West Liberal Democrats Assembly Member, Peter Black said:
"These figures are a national disgrace. It would seem our ambulance service has reached crisis point. The people of Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend deserve better than this.
"To have only around half of immediately life-threatening calls responded to within the 8 minute target time is a huge concern. Lives can be lost because of slow response times.
"These alarming figures come on the same day the Health Minister has said he plans to change the way our ambulance service is monitored. People will be concerned the system is being changed due to the Welsh Labour Government categorically failing to meet the current targets it has set itself. I hope these changes are patient focused, rather than political. I find it strange that the Minister is unable to confirm whether the current targets will remain in the long term.
"No-one doubts the skill and dedication of our front-line staff. What is in doubt is the ability of the Welsh Labour Government to provide a decent reliable service that the people of Wales deserve."