Concern over Gloucestershire ambulances crossing Welsh border

Concern over the number of Gloucestershire-based ambulances being called to emergencies in Wales has been raised by the Forest of Dean Council.

Councillor Terry Hale said 186 English ambulances attended emergencies in Wales with Welsh ambulances answering 16 calls in England in 2012/13.

The Welsh Ambulance Service and South Western Ambulance said they kept "cross border activity" to "a minimum".

They said "mutual aid" ensured patients got the "nearest ambulance".

'Delayed all day'

But Mr Hale, from Forest of Dean District Council, said: "We're very concerned, we've been looking at this for about four to five years now.

"We're supposed to do a 50:50, there's no money changing hands. We're concerned about ambulances being delayed all day in Newport.

"It takes it out of our area and that causes us a problem."

A Welsh Ambulance Service spokesman said: "We are in continual discussions with South Western Ambulance Service on this matter.

"We are pleased to report that the number of ambulances being deployed across the border into Wales in the last six months has reduced."

A South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) spokesman said: "So far this year the number of emergencies responded to by South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust and the Welsh Ambulance Service within each other's catchment areas is, in total, 380.

"To put this in context, on average SWASFT deals with around 700,000 emergencies each year."

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