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Change is 'best hope for NHS'

The Wales Audit Office says current measures to stop overspending in the NHS are not sustainable. It says proposals for radical reconfiguration of the health service are the best hope for the future.

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Opposition AMs claim NHS problems are getting worse

The Shadow Health Minister, Darren Millar, who also chairs the Assembly's public accounts committee, says today's audit report on the Welsh NHS shows that problems are being stored up and that treatment delays are increasing.

The report from the Auditor General for Wales highlights the substantial financial challenge facing Wales’s health boards and points to unsustainable savings which have impacted on patient care and services in the last financial year. That some health boards delayed planned surgery in order to break even, leaving thousands of people waiting for much needed treatment, only causes further problems down the line.

The deterioration of performance in some key areas, including cancer waiting times and accident and emergency performance, is also deeply concerning, as is the growing backlog of maintenance on the NHS estate.

– Shadow Health Minister Darren Millar AM

His Liberal Democrat colleague, Aled Roberts, said the Welsh NHS has been "catastrophically mismanaged" by the Welsh Government.

The Welsh NHS is under a colossal amount of strain. The report notes that the NHS is likely to struggle to sustain current levels of service and performance. Wales has the longest ambulance waiting times in any part of mainland UK, cancer waiting times not met since 2008 and A&E targets that have never been met. To think some of our NHS services could continue to deteriorate further is shocking. The truth is the Welsh Labour Government has catastrophically mismanaged our NHS and it is the people of Wales who are paying the price for Labour’s failure.

– Public Accounts Committee member Aled Roberts AM

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