Ambulances outside Princess of Wales Hospital on 16 January
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Ambulance staff sick leave levels rising

Growing numbers of staff in the Welsh Ambulance Service are taking sick leave because of stress.

Figures obtained by BBC Wales show the overall sickness levels within the ambulance service is almost twice as high as for the police force.

The sickness rate is 7.53%, meaning just over a twelfth of total working hours for staff in the service is lost.

The service's management has admitted it will need more resources amid fears that plans for hospital re-organisation in Wales will make the problem worse.

One paramedic, who works for the central and west region, spoke of issues with ambulance delays outside hospitals as a factor in raising stress levels, saying it was "frustrating" when they "could be out there helping people".

Abigail Neal reports.

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