Data uncovered by the Welsh Conservatives shows thousands-of-people in Wales are waiting well beyond the eight-minute ‘red’ target for ambulances.

It also highlights “shocking waits” for patients classified as amber calls, with one Welsh patient forced to wait more than two days for an ambulance.

The data emerged in a series of Freedom of Information Requests by the Welsh Conservatives, and Shadow Health Secretary – Angela Burns – says there are “serious questions” for the Welsh Government to answer. Analysis of waiting times for December 2017-February 2018 shows that almost a third (4,437 or 30.4 per cent) of ‘red’ callers failed to see their ambulance arrive within the eight-minute target.

Twenty-one people were made to wait more than half-an-hour for what the Welsh Government categorise as an ‘immediately life-threatening’ emergency, with one person in North Wales waiting 90 minutes.

Waits for amber calls – which includes people suffering from a stroke and heart attacks – were also shockingly high. Over the three winter months, 1,860 people were made to wait over six hours for their ambulance. In December, one patient who made an amber call in Aneurin Bevan Health Board waited 54.5 hours for an ambulance. Another in Abertawe Bro Morgannwg waited 45.6 hours in February.

Commenting on the statistics, Welsh Conservative Shadow Health secretary, Angela Burns AM, said: “The winter is always a difficult time for the NHS, but these staggering waits beg serious questions for the Health Secretary.

“Lengthy delays are as dangerous to patients as they are distressing to ambulance staff and after nearly two decades of Labour rule, our NHS has been reduced to a near permanent state of crisis and an ambulance service at breaking-point.

“These statistics do not show the pain or suffering of such a traumatic experience but what is clear is that they are a result of poor winter planning once again from the Welsh Labour Government with patients left paying the price.

“This deterioration in service simply cannot continue and it falls on the Health Secretary to show some immediate leadership and bring forward a long-term strategy for improvement.”