Ben Golightly, Cardiff East Socialist Party
The Welsh Ambulance Service recently declared an ‘extraordinary incident’ in Swansea, with 16 ambulances simultaneously queuing outside A&E, one waiting 28 hours.
It’s a shocking headline, but I found nothing extraordinary about it at all. A few weeks ago, my gran broke her leg in a fall, spent 23 hours waiting for an ambulance, and ten hours outside A&E. When I spoke to her by phone, she still had nothing except wonderful things to say about the lovely healthcare workers who looked after her.
But when she had a similar fall about 20 years ago, the ambulance was there within an hour. This time, my nan died in hospital. We don’t know if the delay contributed to her death.
This shows starkly just how far the Welsh NHS has deteriorated under 25 years of a Welsh Labour government.
The Welsh government should refuse to pass on any more cuts, and fight for the funding we need from the Westminster government for proper healthcare, planned democratically to meet the needs of patients and health workers. Instead, it is raiding other services to “simply maintain the [health] service as it is”. “As it is” – not what it needs to be! The whole history of Welsh Labour is proof that this strategy doesn’t work. If it did, it wouldn’t have taken 33 hours to get my nan to a hospital bed.