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Latest figures show 83% of patients spent four hours or less in A&E in October. The target is 95%

Credit: PA

It's that time of the month when I start to sound like a broken record - but stick with me. The latest monthly A&E performance figures for Wales are out and it's a chance for all of us to see how the Welsh NHS is performing.

Take a look at the data for yourself, here.

If data trawling isn't your thing, here are some headline numbers:

  • - For the whole of Wales in October, 83.5% of patients spent less than 4hours in A&E. The target is 95%.
  • - The lowest figure was 68.1% at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd.
  • - The best major A&E performance was 92.3% at Nevill Hall Hospital.
  • - October 2017's 4hr figure for Wales is better than October 2016. Up from 82.4%
  • - Just over 3,000 patients in October 2017 spent longer than 12 hours in an A&E department in Wales. Target is for no-one to to spend longer than 12 hours in A&E.

Responding to these figures, the Royal College of Emergency Medicine in Wales said: "Although 4-hour performance has slightly improved, we are still woefully below acceptable levels." It added: "This means that people are still waiting far too long to be treated which is affecting safety and quality of care - despite the best efforts of staff."

There was also this warning: "we still require more frontline staff, additional hospital beds and an increase in social care capacity, all year round to effectively provide safe and efficient care.”

Not everywhere in the UK is missing its target.

The Welsh Government says it has plans in place and is urging everyone to 'choose well' and pick the right medical service instead of always heading straight for A&E.

As winter gets closer, the numbers are worth keeping an eye on. They are the clearest representation of how the NHS in Wales is coping with increasing demand as budgets are squeezed. Target's are continuing to be missed despite the herculean efforts of hardworking staff. While A&E is just one part of the NHS picture, it's where you go to take the temperature of the system. It's been under the weather for a while...