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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 November 2005, 13:12 GMT
Ambulance response targets missed
Ambulance generic
Category A response targets have not been reached
Welsh ambulance crews have failed to reach targets used to measure their response times.

New figures show 57% of calls for the most serious category A calls received a response in eight minutes - short of the assembly government's 60% target.

Earlier, a senior paramedic questioned the way the targets are used.

The Welsh Ambulance Service's north Wales regional officer, Dafydd Jones Morris, said current targets did not consider whether a life was saved.

The latest results from 1 July to 30 September this year showed that Welsh ambulance crews failed to reach the 60% target of high-urgency calls reached within eight minutes.

Dafydd Jones Morris
If we reach the patient within nine minutes and the patient survives, we've failed the target
Dafydd Jones Morris, Welsh Ambulance Service

The 57% success rate is down from the 59% achieved by Welsh ambulance crews between April and June.

The Welsh Assembly Government has revised down the targets since they were first set at 75% in 2001.

That target was revised downwards to 65% and then down again to 60% - but is still not being met.

Welsh Health Minister Brian Gibbons said he was disappointed at the figures, but added that changes were taking place.

'Questioning targets'

Before the results were published on Wednesday, the Welsh Ambulance Service's Dafydd Jones Morris questioned the value of setting any time targets.

He told BBC Wales they failed to take into account the results of the treatment medics gave or whether a patient survived.

He added: "Targets are always useful in order to give some degree of measurement.

"I'm questioning whether the particular targets we've been given are the right ones.

"We'd like to see something more connected with the outcome for the patients.

"If the target that's been set is eight minutes 60% of the time on category A calls, if we achieve the target within seven minutes and the patient does not survive, we've achieved the target.

"If we reach the patient within nine minutes and the patient survives, we've failed (to meet) the target."


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