THE Welsh Ambulance Service has discussed plans of restructuring their current medical service.

After numerous complaints about waiting times and delays under the current method of health services, their has been an admittance that things need to change.

Jason Killen, chief executive of The Welsh Ambulance Service addressed members of Wrexham Council's Safeguarding, Communities and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee this week about the plans for change.

The main area of change that was focused on, was reducing the number of ambulances sent out to non urgent calls, which is frequently happening now and instead focusing on clinical assessments over the phone or through house visits that don't require admitting patients to already crowded emergency departments.

Mr Killen acknowledged that the change couldn't be implemented immediately, but assured members of the committee, that talks have been going on for some time.

"We have been engaging with out commissioners, the seven health boards, for 18 months or so around this concept of change and how we might deliver the services in the future," he said.

"What we do now see is a need to urgently accelerate the transition because of the pressure we've got and the experiences patients are having. We need to do it faster and do more of it more rapidly.

"We need to engage with the public, our communities across Wales about this change because it is a substantial change. We've started discussions with community health councils, but we need to do more of that in the coming months.

"The conversations with our commissioners are positive, they recognise this is a good thing to do and they want to support us in doing this. We opened conversations in the last three weeks about additional money and resources that will enable to accelerate this next year. We won't be able to do it all now, but we want to start doing more of it next year.

"We've begun the conversation internally with staff about the change and what that would mean but there is much more work for us to do to work out the transition path from today.

Mr Killen began to discuss the types of changes that we would see to the way the Welsh Ambulance Service provides patients with care.

"In the longer term, we very much think we need to change the service and not continue with a double staffed ambulance to everything, as we do now," he said.

"We respond to roughly about 80% of 999 calls we receive, we deal with 10% with advice over the phone in a control room environment and we close 10% by way of see and treat, we go to see that the patient doesn't need to be conveyed to the emergency department and can be left at home.

"Of the 80% that we go to, 65% of patients are conveyed to the emergency department. There are large numbers of patients that don't need to be there. This is the part we want to play in taking some of the stress out of the urgent emergency care department by conveying less patients there.

"So in the future state, what we see is a scenario where we respond to 20% of all the work we get every day. That is the immediate life-threatened patients and we get to the majority of those in eight minutes and the other serious patients that aren't immediately life threatened such as chest pains, strokes, car crashes and broken legs, we go to those and we go to those quickly.

"Then every other patient that we would currently respond to, we would provide an enhanced clinical assessment, upstream in the control room environment with a specialist clinician. Then we tailor the response we provide in a detailed way.

"Either more advice over the phone, by referring to another part of the health system. Where we do need to go to the scene, we would go with a specialist clinician targeted to that persons specific needs and close off where appropriate. Only when it is absolutely necessary do we convey a patient to the emergency department.

"We believe that this is one of the contributions we as a national service provider can do to reduce the pressure across the entirety of the emergency care system and then waits which will improve the patient experience."