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

The latest data showed that in December 2021, across Wales 51.1% of emergency responses to immediately life threatening 'red' calls arrived within 8 minutes.

The Welsh Government have previously set a target for 65% of red calls to have a response within 8 minutes.

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% of life threatening calls arrived within 8 minutes – the worst rate across the whole of Wales’ Health Boards.

Cefin Campbell, Plaid Cymru Member of the Senedd for Mid & 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 Carmarthenshire 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.”

Responding to the data, Senedd member for Mid and West Wales, and leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, Jane Dodds MS said: “These figures are a tragedy.

"Targets aren’t even close to being met and ambulance response times are worse than they were last December. 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.”