Military personnel supported the Welsh Ambulance Service in 2020 (Picture: Crown Copyright).
Wales

Military Re-Deploy To Support Welsh Ambulance Service

Working as non-emergency drivers, the service personnel are expected to be deployed until the end of November.

Military personnel supported the Welsh Ambulance Service in 2020 (Picture: Crown Copyright).

Armed Forces personnel are to support the Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust (WAST) for the third time since the coronavirus pandemic began in March 2020.

In efforts to free up emergency responders under strain due to the pandemic, 110 service members will deploy to regions across Wales from 14 October working as non-emergency drivers.

The task is expected to last until the end of November.

The personnel, drawn from all three services of the military, will respond to lower priority calls during the period, allowing NHS staff to handle situations where there is an immediate risk to life, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) said.

Sixty-eight personnel deployed to help WAST in April 2020, while 120 - including defence medics - boosted the Welsh Ambulance Service staff last December.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: "I am proud of the tireless work of all our service personnel during this pandemic.

"They continue to provide important support, working alongside our dedicated emergency services across the UK.

"The deployment of 110 personnel to support the ambulance service will ensure WAST can continue to deliver their life-saving services."

Chief Executive of the Welsh Ambulance Service, Jason Killens, said it was "proud and grateful to be working alongside the military once again".

"The pandemic has presented a challenge like no other, but the last couple of months in particular have meant significant and sustained pressures on our ambulance service, including high levels of demand and an increase in Covid-19 related activity," he added.

"Winter is our busiest time, and having military colleagues on board once more will bolster our capacity and put us in the best possible position to provide a safe service to the people of Wales."

In addition to the drivers, the MOD will provide three personnel to support planning at NHS Wales.