Hypodermic needle

Serious hospital errors listed

Information uncovered by Welsh Lib Dems shows 24 medical errors including swabs and a hypodermic needle left inside patients

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Report shows Welsh NHS improving says Andy Burnham

Commenting on the Nuffield Trust report published today which compares the performance of the NHS in the four countries of the UK, Labour's Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham said:

David Cameron should be embarrassed by this report. It exposes his merciless attempts to run down the NHS in Wales, when the facts show it’s been making more progress than England in recent years. Cameron has been caught out putting politics before patients.

David Cameron and Jeremy Hunt have waged a sinister spin operation against the NHS in Wales - and the NHS more generally - for their own political purposes.

They want to distract attention from their own record on the NHS in England, where a re-organisation no-one wanted has led to a crisis in A&E and put the NHS on a path towards privatisation.

The reality is that the NHS in Wales has improved over the last decade thanks to Labour investment and reform – though of course there is further to go. Where care is not good enough anywhere in the UK, it must be addressed.

But when the Tories were last in charge in Wales, people were waiting two years for operations. They have not forgotten that and it's why people in Wales don’t trust the Tories with the NHS.

– Andy Burnham MP, Shadow Health Secretary

Drakeford: NHS showing 'rapid improvement'

The Health Minister Mark Drakeford has argued that the Welsh NHS is not in a worse state than any other health system in UK.

The Welsh Government issues a report today looking at how the four health systems of Wales, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland compare.

His comments come as England Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is expected to continue his criticism of the NHS in Wales when he speaks at the Welsh Conservative Spring Conference later.

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Operation waiting times longer in Wales than rest of UK

A report comparing the health system in all four UK nations says waiting times in Wales have 'lengthened disproportionately' compared to the others.

But the Welsh Government have said the figures underline a more positive outlook of the health system in Wales.

The Nuffield Trust says people in Wales can wait up to one hundred days longer for a common operation than people living in England.

"In some important areas covered by the report, Wales does well. With regards to 'the way in which the NHS runs' and on 'the way the NHS's local doctors or GPs run nowadays' Wales came out the highest in the UK, with 62% in Wales very satisfied with the health service. This compares to just 53% saying the same of the health service in England.

The report shows dramatic improvements in ambulance response times to immediately life-threatening calls, and substantial reductions in waiting times in all four countries.

While the report points out that spending on health has not increased in the devolved nations to the same extent as in England, it remains the case that England has the lowest spend on health per head of population."

– Mark Drakeford, Health Minister

Wales' waiting times for diagnostic tests 'worst in UK'

by Alexandra Lodge

Doctors in Wales say waiting times for diagnostic tests here are amongst the worst in Europe and could be making the difference between life and death.

Official figures today show numbers are falling but Plaid Cymru claim Welsh patients are still waiting up to 20 times longer than those in the rest of the UK.

They say, on average, 41.2% of patients in Wales wait more than six weeks for such tests - ten times more than in Scotland and 20 times more than in England.

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Welsh Govt 'expect waiting times to come down'

The Welsh Government said they "expect waiting times for diagnostic tests to come down" after NHS statistics showed Wales was the worst-performing country in the UK in that area.

Despite the pressures on the NHS, access to diagnostic tests is improving.

However, the health minister Mark Drakeford acknowledges waits are still too long in some cases, and last month announced £5 million of new funding to help the NHS reduce waiting times for those scans and tests where there are particular challenges.

Speeding up access to these tests will mean that patients get the results faster and can start their full treatment sooner. We expect waiting times for diagnostic tests to come down.

– Welsh Government spokeswoman

Read: Wales has worst waiting times for NHS tests in UK

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Plaid Cymru: Stats show Labour's NHS mismanagement

Elin Jones, Plaid Cymru health spokeswoman, said the figures showing that Wales has high waiting list times for life-saving tests highlighted "the stark reality of Labour's mismanagement of the NHS".

The Health Minister needs to take emergency action to bring down these waiting lists and help the thousands of people who are in limbo as they await a diagnosis. We need to make sure that the diagnostic machines are staffed for longer so that they can be used to their capacity.

This will need extra funding, but failure to do so would be condemning patients to wait even longer for basic tests.

Plaid Cymru has long advocated better planning within the NHS so we can plan ahead for the future workforce, keep waiting lists down and make the Welsh NHS the efficient service that it can be.

– Plaid Cymru health spokeswoman and Ceredigion Assembly Member Elin Jones

Read: Wales has worst waiting times for NHS tests in UK

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Wales waiting time statistics 'most disturbing in years'

NHS statistics which show that Wales has the worst waiting times for life-saving tests in the UK are "the most disturbing" health figures seen "in many years", a doctor said.

Carmarthen-based doctor Dewi Evans, who has been working in the health service since 1971, said early diagnostic tests were important because they could be a matter of life and death.

Read: Wales has worst waiting times for NHS tests in UK

The checks - such as MRI scans and cystoscopies - can be used by medics to check whether a person has cancer.

These investigations are the mainstay of early and accurate diagnoses of life-threatening conditions.

In terms of significance, these are the most disturbing NHS statistics I have seen in many years. Diagnostic tests are one of the most important parts of the health service.

– Dr Dewi Evans
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Wales has worst waiting times for NHS tests in UK

Wales has the worst waiting times record for life-saving tests in the UK, according to new figures.

Wales has the worst waiting times record for life-saving tests. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Around 42% of people in Wales waiting for diagnostic tests had to wait more than six weeks before they were finally seen, according to government statistics.

This compares with 1.8% in England and 3.8% in Scotland.

And the statistics also show 16.6% of patients on the Welsh diagnostic waiting list wait longer than 12 weeks.

In Northern Ireland, 15.5% on the list had to wait more than nine weeks.

Labour criticises 'manufactured' row over Clwyd invite

Welsh Labour has responded to opposition criticism following a decision by Labour members of the Assembly's Health Committee to vote against inviting Ann Clwyd to give evidence. Labour committee member Leighton Andrews AM said,

Ann Clwyd is in contact with the First Minister and the Health Minister and has provided them with the information she has to hand. As Ann herself has stated, most of the information she has collated relates to England and the info relating to Wales is anonymised and absent of detail. Ann Clwyd was asked by the Prime Minister to look at NHS complaints in England – her remit did not extend to Wales.

Opposition members are fully aware that it would be constitutionally inappropriate for the Health Committee to interview backbench MPs on their views around devolved matters - just as we wouldn’t expect backbench AMs to be giving evidence to Select Committees in Parliament. Rather than trying to manufacture rows in this way, the opposition focus should be on using the committee’s time to make sure the NHS is delivering the best possible care for the whole of Wales.

– Leighton Andrews AM, Labour

Welsh Government should get its act together on health says David Cameron

The Prime Minister has again criticised the Welsh Government's handling of the health service in Wales. David Cameron said Labour Ministers 'need to get their act together' because the NHS here is not being 'properly managed, properly funded and properly reformed.'

He was responding to a question from Conservative MP Charlotte Leslie who repeated her call for an inquiry into hospitals in Wales with high mortality rates similar to that led by Sir Bruce Keogh in England.

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