Ambulance waiting times: And Cameron complains about WALES being slow!

140520ambulance

Target times for ambulances to reach some seriously ill patients could be lengthened, according to both Mail Online and the BBC News website.

The plan is to change maximum waiting times for certain patients – ‘Red 2’, the second most serious category – from eight minutes to 19. It would come into operation after the general election next year. Tories providing themselves with ammunition to attack a future Labour government, perhaps?

Labour, having discovered the plan in a leaked document from the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives, rightly wants to know why Jeremy Hunt didn’t mention it to Parliament when he appeared there after signing it off.

Being based in Wales, Vox Political would like to ask how David Cameron feels about the proposals, as they constitute an admission that ambulances in England can’t get to patients any faster than those in Wales that he likes to criticise so harshly in Prime Minister’s Questions.

There is concern that there has been no consultation on the plans and no public involvement. Paramedics, who say response times distort their ability to function because they are always chasing the clock, have responded by saying some of the patients affected – such as stroke victims – should be moved up a category to avoid the longer waits.

But there is a bigger concern.

Ambulance crews in England had to deal with 8.5 million emergency calls during the 2013-14 financial year – around 16 calls every single minute.

Taking into account the time it takes to arrive at an emergency and return either to base or to hospital with a patient (depending on the nature of the emergency) it seems clear that we have a service which is under-staffed and under-resourced.

Meanwhile we have a Conservative and Liberal Democrat government that has been hiding the true extent of unemployment while ensuring that the richest people in the UK are now twice as rich as they were in 2009 – and even then, they couldn’t have spent all their money within their own lifetimes.

The answer is obvious: Bring in progressive tax and National Insurance rates to pay for some of the unemployed to train as paramedics, and for the ambulances and equipment they would then need to use.

There is plenty of money in the UK and therefore no reason not to provide the NHS with the tools to do the job.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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7 thoughts on “Ambulance waiting times: And Cameron complains about WALES being slow!

  1. Nigel Harman

    19 minutes nearly 1/3rd of the golden hour, typical policy of this government. To kill people because that is what will happen !

  2. Jim Round

    “The answer is obvious: Bring in progressive tax and National Insurance rates to pay for some of the unemployed to train as paramedics, and for the ambulances and equipment they would then need to use.”
    I have asked in a previous comment to one of your articles what the rates of tax should be and how they should be applied to various salaries/wages.
    I didn’t get a response.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Really? Must have passed me by.
      If you were asking me, then it’s not for me to say. I don’t have the figures in front of me that are necessary to work it out.
      (You set your taxes according to what you want to buy with them.)

      1. Jim Round

        Don’t mean you in particular Mike, just nobody, not even the likes of Richard Murphy can say how, for example someone working 40 hours on the minimum wage should pay in tax and national insurance.
        There are several unanswered questions with regards to both personal and corporate taxes.

  3. Keith Jackson

    Isnt it part of the deliberate policy to make the NHS seem bad so that they can convince people that it needs privatising? I agree with you Mike in that there is no reason not to provide the NHS with the tools to do their job, they could start with using the NI 30 billion that is being held back.

Comments are closed.