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Welsh Ambulance Service scores highly in National Survey for Wales

A WALES-wide survey has revealed that 90 per cent of people who needed to call for an ambulance in the last 12 months were satisfied with the overall service they received.

Of those who had dialled 999, a staggering ninety seven per cent had trust and confidence in the ambulance crew’s professional skills, according to the National Survey for Wales, which was published today (Thursday 11 June, 2015).

Seventy nine per cent were satisfied with the time they had to wait for the ambulance to arrive.

The National Survey for Wales is a face-to-face survey of people across Wales.

Each year more than 14,000 people aged 16 and over are asked for their opinions on a wide range of issues affecting them and their local area.

Tracy Myhill, Chief Executive of the Welsh Ambulance Service, said: “We’re thrilled that those surveyed felt they’d had a good experience of the Welsh Ambulance Service, which is testament to the sheer hard work and dedication of our staff.

“Whether it’s our staff in the call centres as the first point of contact, staff providing healthcare advice at NHS Direct Wales, crews providing treatment as well as taking patients for treatment, or crews and volunteers responding to life threatening situations, these people are lifesavers.

“We get hundreds of thank you letters every year, not to mention the feedback on social media, and the outcome of the survey is yet another endorsement of the excellent service we endeavour to provide.

“We know we don't always get it right‎ but we’re making good progress. Our aim is to build on our improvements and remain focused on delivering excellent clinical care to the people that need our help.”

Tracy added: “We’re grateful to those surveyed for being honest about their experience, and for the people of Wales for their continued support.”

Local Health Boards have been responsible for commissioning emergency ambulance services since April 2014, and the Trust has been delivering emergency ambulance services on their behalf.‎

Sixty eight per cent of those in Cwm Taf University Health Board were satisfied with the time the ambulance took to arrive, compared with 86 per cent of those in Hywel Dda University Health Board.

Tracy said: “The initiatives we have in place to improve response times will take time to take full effect, but we are seeing them start to bear fruit.

“We’re especially optimistic about the changes we have introduced in partnership with the Health Board in the Cwm Taf area (the ‘Explorer’ project) with indications that they are making a positive difference to our response times there.”‎

The Programme for Government outlines the Welsh Government’s priorities for the NHS in Wales, and includes improving the quality of and access to emergency care and ambulance services.

To help understand the issues, in 2014-15 a series of questions were added to the National Survey about people’s experiences of ambulance services.

These questions covered satisfaction with the response time, the service they received, and whether they had trust in the crew’s professional skills.

In the last 12 months, 14 per cent of people contacted the emergency ambulance service in Wales.

Of those:

90 per cent were satisfied (79 per cent very satisfied and 11 per cent fairly satisfied) with the overall service they received;

79 per cent were satisfied with the time they had to wait for the ambulance to arrive (58 per cent very satisfied and 20 per cent fairly satisfied);

97 per cent had trust and confidence in the ambulance crew’s professional skills (91 per cent said ‘yes, definitely’ and six per cent ‘yes, to some extent’).

You can click here to view the findings of the survey in full.