North West Wales

Morfa Nefyn 'choking' death prompts ambulance staffing call

Morfa Nefyn beach Image copyright Shirley Roulston
Image caption The girl was on holiday with her family in Morfa Nefyn

The death of a six-year-old girl from suspected choking while on holiday in Gwynedd has prompted a call for increased ambulance staffing in rural areas.

Jasmine Lapsley was treated by paramedics in Morfa Nefyn on Tuesday night but could not be saved.

The Welsh Ambulance Service said first responders arrived within 16 minutes - double its eight-minute target.

Councillor Liz Saville Roberts said help should have arrived sooner.

The alarm was raised at 20:30 BST on Tuesday and two community first responders, two ambulances, a rapid response vehicle and an RAF helicopter were sent to the scene.

The ambulance service said it was investigating its response to the incident.

Its target is to reach 65% of the most serious and immediately life-threatening calls within eight minutes.

Ms Saville Roberts, who represents the Morfa Nefyn ward, said paramedics should have been closer to hand, claiming the area's population was four times higher in summer.

"My real concern is the level of staffing we've got on shift for rural areas," she said.

"First responders (trained local volunteers), in this sort of accident, are not going to be able to do anything... they need a paramedic.

"We need a proper picture of the sort of service that's being provided in rural areas."

The Welsh Ambulance Service declined to comment.

Jasmine's home town has not been revealed, but she was not local to the area.

An investigation into her death has been launched by North West Wales Coroner Dewi Pritchard-Jones.

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