Commenting on the Health Minister’s response to the Strategic Review of Welsh Ambulance Services – in which further accountability to local health boards in delivering services was announced, along with a potential name change (to the Welsh Emergency Medical Service) – Shadow Minister for Health Darren Millar AM said:
“Renaming the ambulance service is no cure-all for its long-term ills - we need reform of the service not a re-brand.
“Whilst I support the retention of a national ambulance service for Wales, I am concerned that the model championed by the Minister is not sufficiently different from the status quo.
"Under the proposed arrangements, local health boards will still hold the purse-strings for the ambulance service and with pressure on their own budgets mounting, there will always be a temptation to under-resource ambulance services.
"It would have been better to see direct funding and accountability to the Welsh Government for our ambulance services instead.
"That said, we will work with the Welsh Government to monitor the implementation of these changes in the hope that patients will see the step change in performance that we need.”