Press office hours are 9:00am-5:00pm, Monday to Friday.
This service is provided by the Communications Team as one of a number of functions it manages.
For enquiries during these hours, e-mail WAS.Communications@wales.nhs.uk or call 01745 532511.
The team handles hundreds of enquiries every year from local, regional, national and international journalists, and therefore – just like in a newsroom – we must prioritise our workload.
We prioritise tasks using our professional judgement and based on conversations with the journalist about deadlines, the angle of the story and its significance, the potential reputational impact as well as the seriousness of the incident.
What we will respond to
- Enquiries about major or significant incidents, incidents which pose a serious threat to the health of the community and incidents which lead to service disruption, e.g., large scale RTCs involving multiple vehicles and casualties, terrorism, severe weather, chemical/nuclear incidents, etc.
- Enquiries with the potential to impact on the Trust’s reputation or public confidence in its services.
- Requests for statistics – though the team doesn’t hold statistical information, we may be able to assist in obtaining data. This may take several days and is done as a courtesy to the media and may not always be possible, dependent on workload. In these instances, journalists will be pointed to published resources or asked to submit a Freedom of Information request.
- Interview bids, including for print, TV and radio.
- Filming requests.
- Feature requests.
What we won’t respond to
While we appreciate some incidents may be of interest to the public, this is not the same as in the public interest. We therefore don’t respond to:
- Enquiries about routine incidents, including minor RTCs, unless there is significant disruption or other extenuating circumstances. Most RTCs on the thousands of miles of road we serve are minor and do not involve serious injury or major disruption.
- Speculative enquiries about why ambulance crews are in a certain area without other information being provided.
- Enquiries about medical emergencies at a private address.
- Sweep incident checks about incidents of note happening in the area.
- Condition checks. These need to be directed to the relevant hospital.
- Queries relating to the Wales Air Ambulance (WAA), including why the helicopter has landed in a certain location. The WAA is a separate organisation, although WAST works closely with it. Please re-direct to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Freedom of Information requests. Please re-direct these to FOI.email@example.com
Who we will respond to
- Trained, professional, bona fide journalists working on behalf of a recognised media outlet.
- As a recognised media outlet, the organisation you work for will be regulated by a recognised code of ethics for print, online or broadcast media.
Who we won’t respond to
- Regrettably, we’re unable to respond to student journalists or bloggers.
The Communications Team operates an on-call function, but it is not an extension of the press office.
For urgent media enquiries on evenings, weekends and Bank Holidays which cannot wait until the next working day, e-mail WAS.Communications@wales.nhs.uk
If the on-call press officer determines your enquiry warrants a response out-of-hours, we will endeavour to come back to you.
If it doesn’t, then you should not expect a response from us out-of-hours.