Welsh Lib Dems Announce Emergency Fund to Open Community Ambulance Stations and Cut Response Times

27 Jun 2024

The Liberal Democrats have pledged a £50 million-a-year emergency fund, to allow ambulance trusts to reverse closures of community ambulance stations and cancel planned closures. The pledge, at a Westminster level, would result in at least £2.5 million extra a year for Wales.

The announcement comes as last month's ambulance waiting time data shows that 2,724 red calls (54%) and 9,845 yellow calls (64%) missed their 8-minute and 60-minute target response times respectively.

Red calls include the most life-threatening situation while yellow calls include strokes and heart attacks.

The data shows that Powys and Cwm Taf Morgannwg are the worst affected region with red calls in both health boards failing to meet the target response time in 59% of callouts.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have stated the additional £2.5 million a year could allow the Welsh Labour Government to open new community ambulance stations, particularly in rural parts of Wales where response times remain particularly poor.

This funding is in addition to the Liberal Democrats’ plan to invest in A&E to help end ambulance handover delays, with an upfront capital investment of £280m to expand urgent treatment centres and A&E wards and an additional £400m per year to add an extra 1,000 staffed beds in hospitals. Both of these plans would trigger consequential funding in Wales of £14 million and £20 million respectively.

Commenting Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS said:

“Everyone should be confident that when they ring 999 in a life or death emergency, an ambulance will arrive in good time. 

However, I am acutely aware that in many parts of Wales, especially in rural parts of Wales like where I live, this is simply not happening.

The evidence we have shows that this is costing lives and people are genuinely frightened that an ambulance won’t turn up if they fall sick or are seriously injured. We urgently need to change course.

The plans outlined by the Liberal Democrats would give extra funding to restore and open new ambulance stations and to train and hire paramedics and first responders.

This is in addition to our plans to fix social care and provide more GPs and primary healthcare appointments which would reduce the pressure on A&E departments and end the sight of ambulances queuing for hours outside of hospitals because they are unable to drop patients off.

A vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote for a fair deal on health, ensuring everyone can get the high-quality healthcare they need, when they need it and where they need it, whether they live in a city centre or a rural valley.”


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