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Wales can’t keep depending on military to ‘rescue’ NHS says Simon Hart

14 Oct 2021 2 minutes Read
Simon Hart (left) by Chris McAndrew (CC BY 3.0). Ambulance in winter. Picture by the Scottish Government (CC BY 2.0).

Wales can’t keep depending on the military to “rescue” the ambulance service in times of need, the Welsh Secretary Simon Hart has said.

Simon Hart told The Telegraph that the Welsh government had to understand that the military was not an “open-ended” resource to ease problems with the region’s ambulance service.

They had to sort out the problems in the ambulance service by the end of November, when the military aid would come to and end, he said.

However, the Welsh Government have responded to say that it was Simon Hart himself who drew attention to the availability of the army to step in and help over autumn. Their involvement was also welcomed by the Welsh Conservatives.

The Welsh Ambulance Service Trust submitted a request for additional support under the Military Aid to the Civil Authorities (MACA) arrangement on October 7.

Simon Hart said: “The purpose of MACA requests are for absolutely extraordinary circumstances, specifically in this instance related to Covid.”

He added that “we just need to make sure that we adhere to that”, and that the Welsh government does not think that “soldiers will come to our rescue” every time the ambulance service runs into problems.

“That would be the wrong solution to the longer-term issues,” he said.

‘Offered’

He added: “If Welsh government comes back to us in November, we haven’t got an open-ended ability, an unlimited resource for non Covid-related pressure.

“So, in other words, the Welsh government are going to have to resolve this problem within their own ambulance service.

“Our point is to say that time may be coming and they need to make the necessary preparations.

“We’ll be there for emergencies, for Covid support, but the long-term problems of the ambulance service – and they are long term – will require the Welsh government to resolve.”

A Welsh government spokesman responded: “The Secretary of State for Wales wrote to the Welsh Health Minister on the September 13 drawing our attention to the use of Armed Forces personnel to assist ambulance services in parts of England. He proactively offered similar support to Wales.

“We are extremely grateful to the MoD personnel for their assistance which, as with all MACA arrangements, will be time limited.”

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Moelwen Gwyndaf
Moelwen Gwyndaf
8 days ago

The Army is full of Welsh men and women and Welsh land has been taken for use by the Army. We have as much right to use the army as England has. Our imperialist masters are now dictating to us. When will the Labour Government realise that independence for Wales is the only option we have if we are to survive as a nation.

Dave
Dave
8 days ago

absolutely Moelwen 10% of the UK Army are welsh whilst 5% of the UK population are Welsh.

Jeff33
Jeff33
8 days ago

Do my taxes not contribute to our forces?

Moelwen Gwyndaf
Moelwen Gwyndaf
7 days ago
Reply to  Jeff33

Yes, that too.

Michael Rieveley
Michael Rieveley
8 days ago

The Welsh Office under Simon Hart at the behest of Boris Johnson is proactive in removing funds and decision making away from the devolved government and the Sennedd. The Welsh Secretary having first recommended using armed forces personnel to alleviate the pressure on the ambulance service is now critical of that offer being taken up. The longer term ability of the Welsh Ambulance Service and the NHS in Wales will depend on the funding they receive in order to invest in the recruitment, training, and equipment. The UK government is currently reducing that. If Simon Hart were truly interested in… Read more »

Gareth Wyn Jones
Gareth Wyn Jones
8 days ago

Also decades of chronic underfunding of the NHS in wales is coming hole to roost as well as underfunding of all areas including transport. Typical Hart, you can always trust him to be untrustworthy. He is there to dismantle our democracy while making a packet at the same time

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
8 days ago

So then fulfill your written manifesto promise of “not a penny less” and give us the £237M a year you have thieved, Simon.

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
8 days ago

Of course they can’t, they need the Army personnel to drive the HGVs and the English ambulances (“…drawing our attention to the use of Armed Forces personnel to assist ambulance services in parts of England.”).

Quornby
Quornby
8 days ago

So what is the army for then Mr Hart? Planning to invade Russia anytime soon? Pillock.

hdavies15
hdavies15
8 days ago
Reply to  Quornby

Boy’s brain is completely addled. Wants to sharpen his sniping skills cos right now he’s firing indiscriminately and making a right mess of it. Obviously his army service was mostly behind a desk as they couldn’t trust him with weapons.

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
8 days ago

Wales pays 1.5 billion pounds per year towards the “British” army. Double that of what Ireland pays for their even though they have a higher population than ours. This unelected tvrd needs to keep his nose out because that’s OUR ARMY that WE IN WALES are paying for.

John Young
John Young
8 days ago
Reply to  GW Atkinson

It’s actually more like £2.3 billion GW (5% of £46 billion).

Gareth
Gareth
8 days ago

Duplicity again from a tory minister. Boris has set the standard, and now every minister in the UK Gov feel they can double talk and get away with it. Say one thing today, and contradict yourself tomorrow. As Boris said last week, the UK is broken, and they broke it.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
8 days ago

How does army pay compare with the pay of ambulance drivers, maybe they could be head hunted. It would be a bit of a surprise for those who think ambulances are there to throw stones at…

Cai Wogan Jones
Cai Wogan Jones
8 days ago

*England can’t keep depending on the military to supply its petrol stations*

Ed Jones
Ed Jones
8 days ago

Is he by any chance related to the Simon Hart MP who slavishly tweeted this wee message about the deployment of ‘110 military personnel to support the Welsh ambulance service’ on 7th October, 2021, odd fellow; https://twitter.com/Simonhartmp/status/1446135736332283918 Another Tory who wants to hold Wales back, go and draw your swastikas elsewhere chump!

Mark
Mark
8 days ago

This bloke is so ignorant and crass, but I suspect it’s all a deliberate distraction just so brain dead tory voters don’t realise just how bad the tories are at running the UK

Grayham Jones
8 days ago

Kick this English idiot out of wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 and stop being little Englanders and and be proud to be welsh kick all English party’s out of wales that’s the Tories Labour and all Brexit party’s it’s time for a new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 start fighting for your children and grandchildren future in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
8 days ago

Simon Hart. Do us all a favour. SHUT UP! With winter fast approaching and all that entails, would rather see the Army helping our Welsh NHS to save lives rather than ending them in illegal wars your moronic Tory party engineered & supported. And didn’t his Conservative idiocracy recently commandeer the Army to drive petrol tankers due to a lack of HGV drivers in England and elsewhere. This thanks to Brexit & licence backlog issues under their watch I didn’t hear similar criticism by Hart over that. Bloody hypocrite! In 2018 the Tories knew there were a lack of HGV… Read more »

Last edited 8 days ago by Y Cymro
Gill
Gill
8 days ago

Well in my 18 minths of front line covid work i have yet to see an ambulance driven by a soldier outside our hodpital. The only contribution thus far was logistical pre planning at the start and operating the local drive thru covid centre for a few months.

Richard
Richard
8 days ago

Simon H needs perhaps to use this situation as a useful bridge builder between our Parliament and his U.K. Gvt Office within Wales.. We expect our leaders to lead by example whether of the same or opposite political backgrounds. There should be one ☝️ aim in his mind – as I’m sure there is – to seek the best outcomes for the people of our nation. We expect no less – and if this means using extra resource whether the Army, St John’s or the Red Cross or accessing other providers including Hospice or charities … this needs to be… Read more »

defaid
defaid
8 days ago

So we can’t have the armed forces’ help? Help that was offered by the Shart himself?

If WAST is struggling, Simon, perhaps you can give back our £300 million per annum. Remember your fat mate stating that we wouldn’t be a penny worse off?

Or the £150 million down the HS2 plughole.

Or full funding for a freeport?

Or perhaps just a bit of a return on our natural resources?

Or perhaps you should just keep your nose out and deal with your home-made non-covid fuel shortage. Current delivery by… that’s right.

Valerie Matthews
Valerie Matthews
8 days ago

But it is ok for the Westminster Government, which he is part of, to use the Military for Petrol Tankers and any other reason they see fit! Talk about hypocrisy!

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