THE Welsh Government must take responsibility for “deeply worrying” ambulance response times in Cardiff and the Vale, South Wales Central AM Andrew RT Davies has said. 

Between December and February, 34 patients had to wait more than 15 minutes for an ambulance to arrive for “immediately life threatening” emergencies. 

This represents almost twice the Welsh Government’s eight-minute target for “red” callers. 

Over the same period there were 483 waits of more than six hours for “amber” calls, which includes people suffering from strokes and heart attacks. 

Eighty five people had to wait more than 10 hours for an ambulance. 

Describing the figures as “alarming but unsurprising,” Mr Davies called on the Welsh Government to take urgent action to address the problem. 

Mr Davies said: “Over the past few weeks there have been a number of notable incidents involving constituents who had to wait unacceptably long times for an ambulance to arrive. 

“These latest figures are deeply worrying but sadly not particularly surprising given the headlines we have seen over the past few weeks. 

“Thirty-four people experiencing immediately life threatening emergencies had to wait more than twice the Welsh Government’s eight minute response time and this is frankly scandalous. 

“Our hardworking paramedics and ambulance teams always go the extra mile but there are clearly problems at the top that need addressing. 

“The Welsh Government must take notice get their heads out of the sand and get a grip with what is an incredibly serious situation.”

But a Welsh Government spokesman said the service was performing well.

He said: “Despite record demand the Welsh Ambulance Service has exceeded the national target for ‘red’ calls for 29 consecutive months with an average response time to ‘immediately life threatened’ patients of around just five minutes.”