P-04-362 Ambulance Services in Monmouth – Correspondence from the petitioner to the Committee, 22.06.2013

The Health and Social Committee sought my opinion on the recent Ambulance Review/in the context of the Ambulance Petition. 

I disclosed my analysis on Wales Today the morning the Review was released. Here is my response http://matdavies.co.uk/?p=755 

Mat Davies

ps: a version of my response is below. 

Dear Health Committee, 

Paramedics deliver one of the most respectable services in a civilised society. Yet, they can only be as effective as the environment and organisation they operate within allows them to be. There have been systemic failures by the service shown in failing performance targets, and an ocean of case studies taken up by the Public Ombudsman which highlight inadequate management.

In February 2012, I delivered a petition to the Senedd signed by 450 people. It called for an inquiry into the ambulance trust. This was later supported by Monmouth, Abergavenny and Chepstow town councils. However, the only response we witnessed was a review limited in scope. This was launched in January this year. Almost 12 months since the petition was delivered. Not good enough.

The ninth review in six years was released two months ago. Most of the discussion since has concerned performance targets. However, more importantly it exposed the systemic problems within the service. A ‘culture of fear’ was highlighted during focus groups, and the measure of accountability and transparency was “insufficient”. This is not surprising to the people of Monmouthshire.

It is the reason why a scrutiny inquiry at the Health and Social Committee which balances its focus on accountability with performance targets. Abergavenny joined Monmouth and Chepstow town council in supporting this. And one of the key points I argued to all councils was that there is no democracy without accountability, and there is no trust and improvement without democracy.

The new Chair of the Health and Social Committee has written to me and said that “the legislative business will not allow an inquiry to take place before the autumn”. It is vital that the scrutiny session is used to set out an agenda for an inquiry in the autumn. This inquiry should add value to the review in preparing the decisions for a policy direction which will enable the service to reach its potential.

Kind Regards,

Mat Davies