Plaid AM slams 95 minute delay in taking suspected heart attack victim to hospital

Rhun ap Iorwerth writes to Health Minister after incident at Holyhead Port

Plaid Cymru AM Rhun ap Iorwerth today demanded an investigation into why it took the ambulance service 95 minutes to take a suspected heart victim from the Port of Holyhead to hospital.

The Ynys Môn AM has called for answers from Welsh Health Minister, Mark Drakeford, after Captain Wyn Parry, Ports Manager Irish Sea South for Stena, contacted him following the incident.

Port officials told Rhun ap Iorwerth that it first called the ambulance service at 1.45pm on October 7 after the first aid team aboard the Stena Adventurer established that the passenger needed urgent medical assistance. Staff called 999 telling ambulance staff that the passenger was suffering from chest pains and was having great difficulty breathing.

The first response vehicle arrived 30 minutes later and at 2.25pm the sole paramedic confirmed that patient had indeed suffered a “cardiac episode” and called for an ambulance to attend. It was 45 minutes before the ambulance arrived and another five minutes before the patient was taken from the ship to Ysbyty Gwynedd.

Rhun ap Iorwerth said: “Holyhead is a vital transport gateway to Ireland for passengers both in Wales and England and it is totally unacceptable that it should take 95 minutes for the ambulance service to take a patient to hospital. The German passenger involved in this incident was very fortunate that first aid teams were able to give assistance.

“Captain Parry made the point to me that this is not only an issue of the safety of passengers but also to all those who work at the port because they can be hazardous places to work. This incident also raises more questions about the adequacy of ambulance cover for those who live in Holyhead.

“I’m increasingly concerned at the stresses being placed on excellent ambulance staff and their ability to provide the service that they would like to, and were trained to provide. I want a full explanation from the Minister as to why it took so long to respond to this life and death situation.

“People of Holyhead and the port itself need assurances from the Minister about the future performance of the ambulance service.”