Posted: Thu 24th Aug 2023

NHS waiting lists in Wales reach their second highest on record

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Aug 24th, 2023


Campaign Advert

The number of patients waiting to start NHS treatment in Wales has reached the second highest on record. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

New figures released today by the Welsh Government show that in June 2023 there were 754,300 open patient pathways in Wales – a rise from 748,400 in May. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

This is the fourth consecutive increase and also the second highest on record ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Across Wales 589,000 individual patients are treatment waiting lists – an increase of around 5,200 patients from April. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

This is despite the Welsh Government’s ongoing efforts to cut NHS waiting times. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Elsewhere the number of of patient pathways waiting less than 26 weeks also increased to 59.3 per cent in June, whilst the number of pathways waiting longer than 36 weeks decreased in June, to just under 229,300. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

This remains high in historical context. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

About 28,300 pathways were waiting more than two years, 59.8 per cent lower than the peak and falling for over a year after a consistent increase throughout 2021. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Health Minister Eluned Morgan has defended today’s figures – highlighting the efforts being made to tackle the longest waits. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Health Minister Eluned MorganHealth Minister Eluned Morgan

Ms Morgan said: “It is encouraging to see progress on reducing some of the longest waits and the average waiting time for treatment in Wales is 19.1 weeks – 10 weeks less than the peak three years ago, and two and a half weeks shorter than a year ago. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“This is despite the continued demand on our hard-working NHS staff. Referrals for cancer and other specialities were the highest on record in June, with overall referrals for treatment up 20 per cent on the same time last year. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“June saw the highest proportion of people waiting less than 26 weeks for treatment (59.3 per cent), for three years, and waits over a year for an outpatient appointment and two-years for treatment continue to fall. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Waits over two years have now fallen by 60% since the launch of our Covid recovery programme.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Figures released today also show that performance against the four hour target for emergency departments also decreased. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

During July there was an average of 3,061 daily attendances to emergency departments, a decrease compared to the previous month. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Across Wales 70.7 per cent of patients in all NHS emergency departments spent less than 4 hours in the department from arrival until admission, transfer or discharge. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

This is below the Welsh Government target of 95 per cent of new patients spending less than four hours in an emergency department. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Locally 63.7 per cent of patients were seen within four hours at the Wrexham Maelor Hospital, an improvement on the 61.4 per cent recorded in June. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

There has also been a slight drop in the number of category red – immediately life threatening calls – receiving an ambulance response within the eight minute target time. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

In July 52.6 per cent of red calls received an emergency response within eight minutes. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

This was two percentage points lower than in June, but the fourth highest since June 2022. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Welsh Conservative Shadow Health Minister, Russell George MSWelsh Conservative Shadow Health Minister, Russell George MS

Today’s figures have been criticised by the Welsh Conservatives, who have argued that the Welsh Government needs to reprioritise the NHS. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Welsh Conservative Shadow Health Minister, Russell George MS said: “The extremely low rate of reduction in 2-year waits, which have been virtually eliminated elsewhere in the UK, is still unforgivably slow and is completely overshadowed by waits across the board in our Labour-run Welsh NHS worsening, especially given Labour’s abysmal record on cancer treatment. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“I was particularly disappointed to see that despite a fall in footfall in emergency departments, 4-hour and 12-hour target waits for A&E have worsened. With Labour promising to cut the health budget in Wales for the second time in one year, the situation is set to decline further. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“The Welsh Conservatives have long been calling for a more rapid roll out surgical hubs and diagnostic centres to get on top of this backlog and to replicate Rishi Sunak’s plan to boost the workforce. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“We need to prioritise protecting the health budget, not wasting taxpayers’ cash on rolling out 20mph zones and sending more politicians to Cardiff Bay as Labour are doing.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

However Ms Morgan said it was important that the health service “manages its resources effectively.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

She said: “”Emergency departments and ambulances continue to see sustained levels of high demand, however performance against the emergency department four-hour target and ambulance red-call response times are holding up well, in line with recent improvements. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“In July, the ambulance service responded to more incidents within 10 minutes than in July last year.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“While demand for services is not slowing and the overall waiting list has risen again, we need to ensure we are managing our resources effectively. Last year more than 6,000 treatments were cancelled at the last minute. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Last minute cancellations mean wasted resources – it’s a loss of consultant and surgeon time when that space could have been offered to someone else. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“That is why I have today launched our Three Ps waiting well policy to support people waiting for treatment to prevent some of those cancellations and ensure people get the best results.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: [email protected]
Latest News

  • MS Jack Sargeant presses for swift action on Sandycroft and Pentre flood protection projects
  • Airbus apprentice turned Coleg Cambria educator heads to WorldSkills 2024
  • Welsh Royal Colleges urge action on child health

  • More...

    MS Jack Sargeant presses for swift action on Sandycroft and Pentre flood protection projects

    News

    Airbus apprentice turned Coleg Cambria educator heads to WorldSkills 2024

    News

    Welsh Royal Colleges urge action on child health

    News

    Special free screening of dementia awareness films at Cineworld Broughton

    News

    Theatr Clwyd reveals cast for crime drama Rope

    News

    A494 Drome Corner to Queensferry Interchange: River Dee Bridge crossover and junction improvement works

    News

    Flintshire Council issues nearly 100 fines to parents over their child’s absence from school

    News

    Jade’s Law passes ahead of Parliament’s dissolution ahead of general election

    News

    Welsh Ambulance Service risk not being able to fully respond to terror attack due to handover delays

    News