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Welsh Ambulance Trust

Revealed: Local areas with worst ambulance delays as heart attack victims left waiting one hour 57 minutes

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Shocking figures have unveiled the local areas in Wales with the longest ambulance delays, revealing a stark “postcode lottery” for response times to life-threatening calls.

Figures were provided by local authority giving a more local breakdown of the usual Health Board data.

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Potential heart attack and stroke victims in the worst-hit areas are now waiting an average of one hour and 57 minutes for paramedics to arrive.

The figures, uncovered by the Liberal Democrats through Freedom of Information requests, reveal how patients whose lives are in immediate danger are waiting twice as long in some rural areas than urban ones. In Anglesey, patients waited an average of 12 minutes and 22 seconds for category 1 calls compared to 6 minutes 31 seconds in Newport.

However, the figures for amber calls painted a much starker picture with an average arrival time of 1 hour 57 minutes in Wales, with the worst in Swansea, where the average wait was 2 hours 33 minutes.  

Overall, 13 out of the 22 local authorities in Wales had an average wait of over 2 hours for amber calls.

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The Welsh Liberal Democrats are calling for action on the social care crisis in order to free up hospital beds and stop ambulances waiting outside hospitals.

Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS said:

“These figures are heart-breaking, but not necessarily shocking to anyone who has had to call on an ambulance in recent months.

“Far too many people are being left to wait too long in an emergency across every region of Wales. The length of amber calls, which includes stroke and heart attack victims in particularly concerning.

“None of this is the fault of our hardworking ambulance staff who are doing their utmost in extremely difficult conditions.

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“We must see an end to the postcode lottery in emergency care, it shouldn’t matter where you live, you should be able to get timely medical attention when you need it most.

“Every day we hear more and more devastating stories of pensioners left stranded for hours, or families watching a loved one die before a paramedic could reach them.

“This cannot continue, the Welsh Labour Government must bring forward extra support to get ambulance services through winter as well as a long-term strategy to ensure people can get emergency care when they need it. That means addressing workforce shortages, fixing the social care crisis and ending the shortage of hospital beds, all of which are leaving patients in ambulances stuck outside A&E for hours.” 

Ten worst areas for Red Calls in 2021/22 in Wales

CountyAverage Ambulance Wait Time
Isle Of Anglesey0:12:22
Gwynedd0:11:49
Monmouthshire0:11:46
Powys0:11:37
Ceredigion0:11:28
Carmarthenshire0:11:07
Flintshire0:10:24
Pembrokeshire0:10:06
Neath Port Talbot0:10:00
Conwy0:09:29

Ten worst areas for Amber Calls in 2021/22 in Wales

CountyAverage Ambulance Wait Time
Swansea2:33:13
Neath Port Talbot2:26:19
Bridgend2:22:58
Blaenau Gwent2:16:51
Merthyr Tydfil2:16:17
Vale Of Glamorgan2:13:59
Monmouthshire2:13:47
Caerphilly2:13:39
Rhondda Cynon Taff2:11:35
Torfaen2:08:17
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