1. ITV Report

More waiting longer in Welsh hospital A&E departments

Credit: ITV Wales

The NHS in Wales has experienced its second busiest January to March on record according to figures published today.

Attendance at emergency departments were stretched due to high levels of flu and elderly admissions.

The extreme weather in early March also made it "difficult for our NHS to operate" says the Welsh Government.

Patients spent more than 12 hours in A&E departments between January and March.
More patients than the same time last year.

There were improvements in waiting times for treatment in February compared to the previous month.

  • Those waiting less than 26 weeks improved by 1.7% over the month,
  • The number waiting over 36 weeks decreased by 17%.
  • The number of people waiting more than 14 weeks for specified therapy services fell by 44% over the month and to the lowest since August 2011.
  • The number of people waiting more than 14 weeks for diagnostics decreased by around a third and is the lowest since Nov 2010.

The Ambulance service met its target for red calls for the 30th consecutive month since the new model was introduced despite continuing increasing demand and busiest March on record.

Ambulance calls made in 2016-2017.
More calls than in 1991-1992.
Health Secretary Vaughan Gething. Credit: ITV Wales

I am pleased NHS Wales has continued to deliver professional emergency and scheduled health care throughout this extremely busy period. Resilience planning put in place by health boards and local authorities has helped deliver this and we are working with them year round to improve that planning for the future. However, we recognise some patients have been waiting longer than is acceptable and we have been clear with health boards about our expectations around performance, and will work with them to evaluate measures taken this winter.

– Health Secretary Vaughan Gething