CONCERNS have been raised over South West Ambulance Service’s (SWAS) response times, after it emerged that patients were left waiting for treatment for over an hour, in two recent emergencies in Malmesbury.
Wiltshire county councillor for the town, Gavin Grant, has demanded answers from SWAS, after being concerned by a report presented to the council’s Health Select Committee, showing how often the target response time of eight minutes for category one incidents, had been met in July.
Councillor Grant also said he had witnessed two serious incidents in June, both on the same day, in which an ambulance took more than one hour to respond.
In the first, a woman had a seizure and lost consciousness at the Riverside Centre and later that day, a motorcyclist was injured in a head-on collision with a van at the corner of Gloucester Street.
Cllr Grant told the Standard: “I think it’s an extraordinary irony that we have an ambulance station in this town, right next to the fire station and right opposite where one incident took place and yet there is nobody was there.
“In both the incidents they needed to get to hospital and it was over an hour for the ambulance to arrive.
“In the report, around Chippenham, Trowbridge and Salisbury there were a mass of green dots where SWAS are meeting their target but for Malmesbury they are not meeting the eight minute requirement.
“That difference in time can well make the difference between a successful outcome for a patient or not.
“Nobody appears to have died as a result of one of these incidents but certainly, if SWAS don’t sort themselves out here and provide a better service for the people of Malmesbury then sooner or later someone is going to die as a result of these delays.”
A spokeswoman for SWAS NHS Foundation Trust defended its performance which they said was exceeding the target across North Wiltshire as a whole.
She said: “In the town of Malmesbury, (excluding Foxley and Minety incidents) three of the five category one incidents were achieved within the eight minutes.
“The performance target response time for category one incidents in July was 75 per cent in eight minutes.
“Regarding two other incidents, one received the first response at scene in 12.3 minutes, the other in 20.1 minutes.
“The performance target for North Wiltshire as of September 2017 for category one incidents was higher than the target, operating at 90 per cent.”