Resident's ambulance wait "unacceptable"

An elderly Dinas Powys resident’s 20-hour wait for an ambulance is “completely unacceptable” – South Wales Central AM Andrew RT Davies has said.


68-year old Hugh Mackie called an ambulance at 2.45pm last Friday after having trouble breathing – but was not attended to until 10.30am on Saturday.


Mr Mackie – who is registered disabled and has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – had described the situation as “absolutely ridiculous” – and his treatment as “horrendous”.


While accepting that the cold weather had caused considerable pressures on the health service – Mr Davies pointed out the Welsh Government’s appalling record on ambulance response times.


He claimed changes to the way response times are measured amounted to “moving the goalposts” – and had only encouraged situations like Mr Mackie’s to occur.


Mr Davies said, “The Welsh Government’s approach to ambulance response times has been nothing short of scandalous – and they are more interested in avoiding criticism rather than meeting patients’ needs.


“Changes to the way response times are measured have not helped the situation – which has occurred due to poor management of the system by the Welsh Government.


“It goes without saying that Mr Mackie’s situation was completely unacceptable – having to wait almost 20 hours for an ambulance to arrive.


“This amounted to an overnight wait for someone who is elderly and registered disabled – and is simply not good enough.


“The cold weather has of course impacted on our health services – but the Welsh Government need to face up and get a grip of the situation so incidents like Mr Mackie’s do not occur in future.”