Nick Smith MP has branded the latest ambulance figures for Blaenau Gwent as “not good enough” as he calls for concerted action.

Figures revealed Blaenau Gwent was lagging behind the rest of Wales with just 40% of emergency callouts hitting the eight-minute target.

Mr Smith has been holding ambulance services across the UK to account since December, where his role on the Public Accounts Committee meant he was able to scrutinise the spluttering service in England.

Since then, he has met with senior figures in the Welsh Ambulance Service for Gwent and written to Mark Drakeford, Minister for Health and Social Services, to hammer home the importance of a speedy service.

He said: “To put it bluntly, this is just not good enough. I have met with the Welsh Ambulance Service and been assured of changes being made to improve matters, but in the short term response times continue to rise.

“Having said that the measures that are being discussed, such as having experienced paramedics on triage and improving process management times at  A and E, would go some way to making a difference if implemented.

“This must become a priority for all agencies including the Health Board, hospitals, GPs, and adult care providers. No one organisation can solve this problem on their own, but the Ambulance Trust must lead.

“Chairman of the Ambulance Trust Mick Giannasi and the rest of his team deserve our full support in this endeavour.

“We are an ageing population in Blaenau Gwent with a record of ill-health, which is why the performance of our emergency services is so important.

“The Welsh Government’s £7.5m extra funding is welcome -; we now need to see that funding bear fruit and reverse this troubling trend.”

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