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WAQ79070 (e) Tabled on 07/11/2019

What proportion of ambulance responses by the Welsh Ambulance Service were to patients who have passed away while awaiting the arrival of an ambulance in each of the past 5 years?

Answered by Minister for Health and Social Services Answered on 19/11/2019

Operational decisions regarding the dispatch of ambulance resources are the responsibility of the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust (WAST).

When determining the best type of response to dispatch to a patient, WAST consider an individual’s circumstances such as environmental factors and cases where a patient is vulnerable, for example if they are alone. These decisions are always based on considerations of what is the most appropriate and safest response for individual patients.

Call handlers may also refer active calls to the clinical support desk, which enables clinicians (e.g. nurses, paramedics and GPs) to undertake a further assessment of the patient’s condition. This assessment also considers any other mitigating factors to ensure calls can be actively monitored, managed and upgraded for a faster response if it is considered necessary based on further information received. This includes if the patient’s condition or circumstances have changed.

We recognise that WAST clinical contact centre can only act on information provided to them by callers when considering the dispatch of ambulance resources. We are working with commissioners and the Trust to support more flexible responses based on a patient’s circumstances. For example, we have supported WAST by providing funding to further increase the number of clinicians working on its clinical support desk to enable more calls to be reviewed by clinicians, to safely monitor and manage patients awaiting an ambulance response and ensure patients receive the right response based on their needs.

We do not hold information relating WAQ79070 and WAQ79071. However, this information may be available from the Trust directly.

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