40,000 people in North Wales waiting over a year for NHS treatment
Data released last week shows that over 40,000 people in North Wales have been waiting over a year for NHS treatment, three times as many people as the same time last year.
In August, 40,365 people were waiting over 52 weeks for NHS treatment in Betsi Cadwaladr health board area. In the same month last year, it was 13,702.
The month saw a record number of patients waiting for treatment with 657,539 on patient pathways – over 14,000 more than the previous month – placing 1-in-5 Welsh people on the waiting list.
Median waiting times for that same month in Wales are nearly double that of England (21.5 weeks compared to 11.5), while 1-in-4 Welsh patients are waiting over a year for treatment, compared to only 1-in-20 in England.
When it came to ambulance performance in September, only 52.3% of emergency responses to immediately life-threatening (red) calls in Wales arrived within eight minutes, down from 57.6%.
The worst performing NHS organisation was North Wales’ Betsi Cadwaladr health board with only 45.2% arriving within the eight-minute target. Two other health boards posted less than a 50% – Dyfed’s Hywel Dda Health Board and the Central Valleys’ Cwm Taf Morgannwg.
Commenting, Welsh Conservative and Shadow North Wales Minister Darren Millar MS said:
“Labour’s NHS is in crisis and waiting times in North Wales are worse than anywhere else in the country.
“Waiting times were already unacceptable prior to the pandemic and we now need to see a rapid recovery plan to ensure that the health service can catch up and deliver sustainable treatment in a timely manner to those who need it.
“It seems clear to me that the special measures imposed on the NHS in North Wales for over five years have made very little difference in performance, in fact, they seem to have made matters worse.
“I am extremely concerned about the Labour Government in Cardiff Bay’s attitude towards North Wales and it complacency in the face of a crisis in our NHS. Its not fair on healthcare staff nor patients, and I will not stop holding Ministers to account for their failure to get to grips with the challenges faced by the NHS in the region.”
A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “The latest data shows pressure on our health and care system continues to grow. But our hardworking health and social care staff continue to deliver high quality care when people need it.
“The Minister has published the Winter Plan which sets out how we will ensure essential services continue and minimise the impact on planned care. This is supported by extra funding for social services to help free up hospital beds.
“It’s encouraging to see improved performance against the 62 day target for cancer services.
“But COVID is still with us and restrictions and measures to keep our health settings safe are still massively reducing capacity to carry out planned care.
“We recognise the need to transform services to tackle longer-term issues and in recent months we have invested an extra £248m to help tackle the waiting list backlog.
“We have also developed with Health Boards new ways of working for emergency care supported by an extra £25m a year.
“This winter everyone can help our NHS by getting the flu jab as well as COVID and consider options like pharmacies and the 111 online service for non-urgent healthcare.” Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com