The Ambulance Trust policy of ring fencing ambulances within Rhondda Cynon Taff to respond only to calls within that area seems to be paying dividends.
Response statistics for May show that 62.9% of category A calls were responded to within the target time of 8 minutes, a vast improvement from the 41.4% in February.
Figures revealed following a freedom of information request by RCT Welsh Lib Dems in February showed that one in six ambulances based in RCT were responding to calls elsewhere, some as many as forty or so miles away. This left the service stretched to the point where lives were surely being put at risk. The Ambulance Trust put in place a six week trial which began at the end of March to ensure Cwm Taf ambulances only answered calls within their region.
RCT Welsh Lib Dem Campaign Manager Karen Roberts says
"We have been hugely critical of the way in which the service has been run for some time, and not without cause. Despite the best efforts of hard working staff they simply could not meet the demand and for a long time RCT has been at the bottom of the table for emergency responses.
"The ring fencing trial seems to have had a very positive effect and the resulting increase in response rates is very welcome indeed. We have still to meet the target of 65% of all emergency calls being responded to within 8 minutes, but we are at least now heading in the right direction."