Waiting time targets missed

The NHS in Wales has slipped further away from hitting its targets for the time it takes for patients to be treated in hospital, after being referred, according to official figures published today.

Welsh Government: 'unprecedented pressures' in NHS

The Welsh Government said there have been "unprecedented emergency care pressures" in recent months, which have hurt the NHS in Wales' ability to meet referral-to-treatment targets.

The majority of patients waiting are waiting less than 26 weeks.

This is despite unprecedented emergency care pressures, and this pressure has had an impact on the NHS’ ability to treat those patients scheduled to have operations.

We are working closely with health boards to ensure the most urgent patients are seen first, and that all patients are seen in order of clinical priority.

Our target remains to reduce the maximum wait for 95% of patients to 26 weeks, and the Minister has made her expectations clear to NHS Chairs.

– Welsh Government spokesperson

Conservatives: 'Targets consistently missed'

The Welsh Conservatives have pointed out that waiting time targets from referral to treatment are "consistently" being missed, and that the figures published this morning show 389,019 people - around one in eight in Wales - are waiting for treatment of some kind on the NHS in Wales.

Despite the best efforts of hardworking NHS staff, waiting time targets are being regularly missed and more patients are waiting longer for treatment.

Long waits to start hospital treatment can be distressing and worrying for vulnerable patients and their families.

Waiting time targets are consistently being missed month by month with little prospect of the Labour Health Minister getting to grips with the problem.

Labour’s record-breaking cuts of half a billion pounds to the NHS will only further constrain capacity and make it more difficult for patients to be treated promptly.

– Darren Millar AM, Shadow Minister for Health

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NHS in Wales missing targets for referral to treatment

The NHS in Wales has slipped further away from hitting its targets for the time it takes for patients to be treated in hospital, after being referred.

  • It aims to have 95% of patients starting treatment within 26 weeks of referral - but, for those who began treatment in December, that only reached 82.9%
  • It aims to have 100% of patients starting treatment within 36 weeks - but, for those who began treatment in December, that only reached 96.3%
  • By the end of December, there were more than 36,000 patients still waiting, after more than 26 weeks, to start treatment - a larger number than at any time over the last two years
  • There were more than 5,000 still waiting, after more than 36 weeks, to start treatment - the most since January 2012