Montgomeryshire MS Russell George says the region's ambulance service is in 'crisis' - as over a hundred military personnel are set to be deployed to assist ambulance services in Wales this week.

Speaking in a Senedd debate last week, Mr George called on the Welsh Government to bring forward a comprehensive plan to improve services in the region, including measures to retain social care staff and raising wages for care workers across the country.

A number of recent incidents have highlighted the pressures on the Welsh Ambulance Service, with several reported cases where patients in Montgomeryshire forced to wait hours after suffering serious injuries.

Now, starting on Thursday, October 14, military forces are being deployed across the region to help ease pressure on ambulance staff in measures expected to last until the end of November.

"The Ambulance Service is in a crisis situation sadly; this is the case here in Powys and across Wales," said Mr George.

"Throughout the summer, I received many examples from people experiencing long insufferable waits for an ambulance and hours wasted with people stuck in the back of one, as hospitals have no beds to offer, leading to a shortage of emergency vehicles on the road.

"Our Ambulance Service needs our full support so in the debate I called for a number of actions which I believe the Welsh Government should take in the short and medium term."

A statement from the UK Ministry of Defence said military personnel will assist the ambulance service with non-emergency drivers who will not operate under blue light conditions.

They are expected to attend lower priority calls to help to free up resources for emergency calls where there is an immediate risk to life, such as cardiac arrests.

"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," said Jason Killens, Chief Executive of the Welsh Ambulance Service.

"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 drivers, Defence will provide personnel to support planning at NHS Wales.

This is the third deployment of the Armed Forces to support Welsh ambulance services since the pandemic began in March 2020.

A total of 68 personnel deployed in April 2020 and 120 augmented dedicated Welsh Ambulance Service staff in December 2020, including Defence medics.