The Welsh Government has unveiled plans to invest £50m into the NHS in Wales in a bid to reduce waiting times.
The new funds, which have been welcomed by Alyn and Deeside AM Carl Sargeant who says many people in Deeside have been left waiting far too long for hospital based services.
The money will be used for pre-arranged surgery, diagnostics and specialist therapies ‘over and above those already planned.’
Over the last five years, referrals to hospital-based services have increased by around 20 per cent – from 1.07 million in the 12 months ending March 2013 to 1.27 million in the 12 months ending March 2016.
Increases in individual specialities are even higher, with gastroenterology referrals up 37 per cent and orthopaedic referrals up 22 per cent – where the NHS is now able to see and treat more conditions than previously.
But despite the increased demand for treatment, over the last two years, referral to treatment (RTT) and diagnostic waiting times performance has improved markedly.
The number of people waiting more than 36 weeks from referral to treatment has fallen from 28,654 in August 2015 to 12,354 in March 2017 and the number of people waiting more than eight weeks for a diagnostic test has fallen to 4,741, from a high of 28,000.
Alyn and Deeside AM Carl Sargeant;
“Despite these improvements, I know from my casework load that many constituents are still waiting too long for a diagnosis or operation.
“I’m pleased that the Welsh Government are always striving to give Welsh patients the best possible service in the face of ever-increasing demand. This extra investment of £50m to reduce waiting times is very welcome indeed.”
Health Secretary Vaughan Gething said:
“The demand on the NHS in Wales, as well as across the other nations in the UK, continues to grow. This places additional pressures on the service to deliver timely care for patients.
“While I expect health boards to plan and deliver sustainable services that meet the needs of their local populations, the £50m investment I’m announcing today will help NHS Wales deal with the extra demand by further reducing waiting times in key areas – such as elective surgery, diagnostics and therapies.”