Posted: Thu 23rd Mar 2023

Slight improvement in ambulance response times and A&E waiting times in Wales

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Mar 23rd, 2023


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There has been a slight improvement in ambulance response times and emergency department waiting times in Wales. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

In February, almost 29,500 emergency calls were made to the Welsh Ambulance Service. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

This was an average of 1,052 calls per day – an increase of five per cent of calls on average per day compared with the previous month, but 14.3 per cent fewer calls on average per day than the same month last year. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

New figures released today show that 50.9 per cent of immediately life-threatening (category red) calls received an ambulance response within eight minutes. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

This is two percentage points higher than in January. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

However this is still below the 65 per cent target of all category red calls receiving a Welsh Ambulance Response within eight minutes. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Today’s figures also show an improvement in emergency department waiting times. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

In Wrexham 64.2 per cent of patients visiting the Wrexham Maelor A&E department were seen within four hours in February. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Throughout the month 4,233 visited the emergency department – a slight decrease on the 4,433 in January. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Of the patients who attended A&E last month 79.8 per cent were seen within eight hours and 87.8 per cent within 12 hours. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

However these figures are below the Welsh Government target of 95 per cent of new patients spending less than four hours in emergency departments from arrival until admission, transfer or discharge ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Across Wales there was an estimated 77,800 attendances to all emergency departments. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

This was an average of 2,780 emergency department attendances per day; 265 attendances more per day on average than in the previous month. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The figures also show that in January the number of patient pathways fell slightly, from around 735,000 to around 734,000, a fourth consecutive decrease following consistent increases from April 2020. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The number of pathways waiting longer than one year for their first outpatient appointment decreased by 9.8 per cent compared to the previous month to around 68,000. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

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Commenting on today’s stats, Welsh Conservative and Shadow Health Minister Russell George MS said: “The Health Minister may have the confidence of their Labour colleagues, but I doubt they will have that of the country after another set of dire figures that show little improvement when it comes to NHS waiting times. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“For there still to be tens of thousands of people in Wales waiting over two years for treatment is a damning indictment on the Labour Government’s inability to make a genuine difference to the lives of patients and medical staff. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“Comparing this and other performance measures like ambulance response times with England is important because it demonstrates that because of the party in government, people in Wales are experiencing an inferior level of healthcare. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“After 25 in charge, Labour needs to get a grip on the NHS and stop breaking all the wrong records.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The Minister for Health and Social Services, Eluned Morgan, said: “Despite continued pressure on services over the winter, the overall picture from January and February is of progress being made and improvements in most areas. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“I have been clear with NHS leaders that I expect these improvements to continue and at a greater pace as we head into the warmer months. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“I am reassured to see further improvement in emergency care, with the highest proportion of patients triaged, assessed and discharged from emergency departments within four hours and the fewest long ambulance handovers since September 2021. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Health Minister Eluned Morgan

“This is the sixth consecutive month performance at major emergency departments in Wales has bettered English performance. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“However, we know there is more to be done and people accessing emergency care or awaiting a hospital bed sometimes wait for longer than we would like. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“I also note the best ambulance performance reported since last September, despite the additional strain felt across the health service as a result of industrial action and high levels of demand. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“For planned care, there were 576,000 individual patients on treatment waiting lists in January, a fourth consecutive monthly fall and 1,800 patients fewer than in December. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“For longer waiting times, the number of people waiting longer than 36 weeks to start treatment decreased for the fifth consecutive month, while the number of pathways waiting more than two years fell for the tenth month in a row. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“The number of pathways waiting longer than a year for a first outpatient appointment decreased by nearly 10% compared to the previous month to around 68,000, a reduction of 34% from the peak in August 2022.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

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