Plaid has renewed a pledge to dissolve the Welsh Ambulance Trust and transfer its responsibilities to local health boards (LHBs) - despite saying it would not “fragment” the health service in Wales.

Assembly member Helen Mary Jones said there needed to be a rethink on the service - which often resulted in ambulances queueing outside hospitals.

She made the comments during a press conference in Cardiff during which she also vowed to introduce a minimum 50p rate on the sale of alcohol as well as the banning of smoking in cars in which children were present.

The Llanelli AM said health was a major issue Plaid would be focusing on in the run-up to the Welsh Assembly elections in May.

Speaking of her proposals for the transfer of patients to hospital, she said: “We would abolish the ambulance trust and transfer its responsibilities to the LHBs.

“Let’s remember why the trust was set up in the first place. The whole idea was to achieve national consistency in service delivery. That, quite simply, has failed despite the best efforts of all those concerned.

“Frontline staff tell us that senior management is just too remote from the challenges they face in their day to day work.

“Handing responsibility back to the LHBs will enable the service to be managed in a way that better understands local conditions and challenges and will enable the ambulance service to become a fully integrated part of overall emergency care.”

It is not the first time Plaid has mooted the idea, with Ms Jones previously expressing a desire to shake up the ambulance service back in 2009.

However, Plaid now looks to have made more of a formal commitment to the idea given that the pledge has been made in the run up to the election.

“Obviously such a plan may have implications for managers in terms of redundancies but not on a large scale,” Ms Jones added.