Politicians have expressed concerns over Ambulance provision in Pembrokeshire, after latest Welsh Government statistics show that over half of life-threatening calls have not been answered within the target time.

The latest data unveiled last week (January 20) shows that in December 2021, across Wales 51.1 per cent of emergency responses to immediately life threatening (red) calls arrived within 8 minutes.

The Welsh Government have previously set a target for 65 per cent of red calls (immediately life-threatening, someone is in imminent danger of death, such as a cardiac arrest) to have a response within 8 minutes, however this latest data show that the Ambulance Service has not met its target for Red Call response times for a whole year and a half since July 2020.

In the Hywel Dda Health Board area, in December 2021 only 42.2 per cent of life threatening calls arrived within 8 minutes – the worst rate across the whole of Wales’ Health Boards.

Commenting, Cefin Campbell, Plaid Cymru Member of the Senedd for Mid and West Wales said: “These latest figures on NHS waiting times, and particularly ambulance response times, are a cause for concern.

“In both November and December across the Hywel Dda Health Board area, less than half the calls for life threatening situations arrived at the scene within the required 8 minutes.

“These figures sadly reflect a growing trend I’m regularly seeing in my inbox and on the doorstep, with constituents across Pembrokeshire citing lengthy delays for an ambulance – often with devastating consequences.

“Whilst I am aware of the unprecedented pressures the pandemic has placed on our hardworking NHS staff and services, clearly urgent action needs to be undertaken to overcome these problems.”

Rhun ap Iorwerth MS, Plaid Cymru spokesperson for Health and Social Care added: “With more and more people being added to waiting lists every day, and delayed transfers of care – our NHS is locked into a vicious circle.

“We can’t speed the flow of patients through the system until that is addressed, and in the meantime, our hard working health and care staff are working around the clock to keep things moving.

“Perhaps the most explicit manifestation of this clogged up system is delays to ambulances, while they wait to offload seriously ill patients into hospital care, but all areas are feeling immense strain.

“While Covid has certainly exacerbated the problems, these issues existed long before the pandemic. Consequently, this isn’t just about waiting for Covid to go – this requires long term solutions to overcome long standing problems.”


Also responding to the response times figures published, Welsh Liberal Democrats Leader and Mid and West Wales Senedd Member Jane Dodds said that the waiting times were “unacceptable and dangerous.”

“These figures are a tragedy. Targets aren’t even close to being met and ambulance response times are worst than where they were last December, despite an improved situation in the pandemic,” she continued.

“While we all understand the severe pressure the pandemic has placed on NHS, these problems are not new.

“What really stands out is the huge variance in performance across Wales. Here in Hywel Dda, we have some of the worst response times in the country.

“We absolutely cannot continue with a postcode lottery when it comes to life-saving services and rural regions cannot continue to be neglected.

“If we are to reduce pressures on our ambulance services and A&Es, we must invest more in community healthcare and GPs.

“If people could get a GP appointment in a reasonable time there would be far less pressure on emergency services.

“For too many people in West Wales, this just isn’t happening and rural Wales continues to suffer from a shortage of GPs.

“We also need action on social care, both to prevent high numbers entering emergency departments and to ensure people have safe environments to be discharged to following any emergency treatment.

“This situation cannot continue,” she added.