THE Welsh Ambulance Service hopes to secure support from the military due to rising demand for its services.

Rising coronavirus cases, extra demand from seasonal flu on top of the usual pressures during colder months have resulted fears over a 'tough' winter ahead.

A number of incidents have left people waiting longer than usual for ambulances with the service receiving thousands of calls a day.

The military and other partners were drafted in to help in the vaccination programme but it is now hoped the extra support now will ease significant pressures.

Jason Killens, chief executive of the Welsh Ambulance Service, told The National: “Covid-19 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.

“The Trust is starting to return to some of the arrangements we had in place at the height of the pandemic to better manage the increase in Covid-19 related activity that we’re feeling the impact of once again.

“As part of this, we’re looking to secure support from other agencies as we have done in the past, including the military, and work has been underway for several weeks to facilitate this, including support with logistical planning in the past week from military colleagues themselves.

“This will enable us to get a head start on what we foresee will be a tough winter, especially when you couple Covid-19 demand with seasonal flu and our usual winter pressures, which staff and volunteers across Wales are already starting to feel the pinch of in September.

“If the situation begins to improve, we can stand down some of these additional actions, but this is about putting ourselves in the best possible position for winter.”