Alarm over ambulance response time to accident


Andrew Boyd

CONCERNS have been raised over the the time it took an ambulance to reach an injured council worker.

The refuse collector sustained a leg injury on Moor Fields, Holywell, early on Tuesday morning.

Witnesses say the man had to wait an hour-and-a-half for an ambulance to arrive, but the ambulance service maintains paramedics were at the scene in little more than half-an-hour and an ambulance arrived within an hour of the original call.

The incident coincided with the future of Holywell ambulance station being reviewed as part of plans to centralise ambulance services, with concerns being raised about a potential increase in response times if the station closed.

Witness Edgar Burgess, 68, who lives close to the site of the incident involving the council worker, said: “I think it is disgusting the man had to wait that long.

“I dread to think what would have happened had somebody’s life been at risk.

“I am concerned this could be happening more without an ambulance station just a few minutes away.”

Holywell West councillor Gareth Roberts said it was worrying to hear reports of people having to wait a long time for an ambulance.

He said: “It does not matter if it is a life threatening injury or not, they should be getting here fairly quickly. We are an easy enough place to get to.

“There have been concerns raised about problems like this if the ambulance station closes.”

A spokesman for the Welsh Ambulance Service said: “The Welsh Ambulance Service assesses and prioritises calls to ensure we can get to the sickest patient first.

“In this instance, the call was assessed as not immediately life threatening and required a response within 30 minutes.

“A paramedic was with the patient in 31 minutes and we are satisfied the assessment and subsequent actions undertaken were done so by our staff in an appropriate and timely manner.”

The spokesman said the closure of the ambulance station should not impact on the service provided.

He added: “Holywell Ambulance Station continues to operate, but  it is important to remember that as an ambulance service we do not provide care from stations.

“We aim to provide a high quality mobile clinical service and move our ambulances around the area to where evidence suggests the next call will come from.

“We would encourage the patient to contact us if they wish to discuss the case in more detail.”

A council spokesman said: “A member of staff  slipped and broke an ankle in Holywell. An ambulance was called to the scene to provide assistance.”

See full story in the Leader

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