ONLY half of immediately life-threatening emergency calls in Wales were attended within the eight-minute target.

New NHS performance data, published on Thursday, September 21, has revealed the extent of delays and wait times in recent months.

Overall waiting lists have hit their highest recorded levels following a 1.9 per cent increase over the last 12 months.

“Health boards are working hard to tackle the longest waits and the most urgent cases are always seen first,” a Welsh Government spokesperson said, describing the increase as "disappointing".

Overall waiting lists in England have increased by 10.7 per cent in the same time, the Welsh Government spokesperson said.

Western Telegraph: The main entrance at the Grange Hospital.

The average response time for immediately life-threatening 'red' calls was seven minutes and 57 seconds. Just over half (50.4 per cent) were reached within the eight-minute target, with the figure was as low as 41 per cent in Powys.

The Aneurin Bevan University Health Board recorded a figure of 52 per cent.


Welsh Conservative shadow health minister Russell George MS has called the emergency response times "abysmal".

“In Labour-run Wales, you still have a 50/50 chance of getting an emergency ambulance response within the target time and at 50.4 per cent, this is the lowest since September 2022 – this is abysmal," Mr George said. 

“It is ironic given Labour’s obsession with spending millions on slowing Wales down with blanket speed limits that the net result has been incredibly slow progress on eliminating two-year waits.".

'We must invest more'

Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Jane Dodds MS has called for a cross-party approach to improving the “deeply concerning” figures.

“If we are to reduce pressure on our ambulance services and A&Es, we must invest more in community healthcare and social care. If people could get a GP appointment in reasonable time or be safely discharged from hospital, there would be far less pressure on emergency services,” Ms Dodds said.

Health minister Eluned Morgan MS expects health boards to achieve their new targets for the longest waits, which would see 97 per cent of those waiting at the end of 2023 to wait less than two years.