Regional ambulance handover times show ‘worrying rises’ says Assembly Member

The Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for South Wales West Peter Black has expressed his concern at the rise in ambulance handovers taking over 60 minutes in Swansea's Morriston Hospital, and Bridgend's Princess of Wales Hospital over the last three years for which full figures are available.

Mr. Black had asked for the information under the Freedom of Information Act as a result of approaches from constituents.

Mr Black said:-

"In Morriston Hospital, the number of occasions where somebody was waiting for over 60 minutes rose from 851 in 2011, to 2361 in 2013 - an increase of over 170%. In Princess of Wales Hospital, the rise was from 309 in 2011, to 1313 in 2013 - which is over 320%.

"Reducing handover times is absolutely vital.

"Leaving patients in ambulances outside A&E departments means that the ambulance service has fewer vehicles to call on should there be another emergency, increases the element of risk in our communities, and shows that A&E departments are under increasing pressure.

"Whatever the Welsh Labour Government might like us to believe, these are worrying rises, and need to be tackled urgently.

"No-one doubts the skill and dedication of our front-line staff. What is in doubt is the ability of the Welsh Government to set the Local Health Board and the Ambulance Trust proper targets, and priorities."

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