Record demand on Wales' A&E departments and ambulance service, figures show

June was the second busiest on record for people going to A&E

More calls were made to Wales' ambulance service last month compared with any month since the pandemic started, official figures have shown.

Of those, one in 13 were life-threatening red calls, which is said to be the highest on record.

Data has also shown that June was the second busiest on record for people going to A&E with more than 3,000 attending emergency departments across Wales.

In response to the mounting pressure on the health service, Wales' Health Minister said £25m a year will be invested to improve urgent and emergency care and to take the pressure off GPs, ambulance services and emergency departments.

However, Eluned Morgan MS, admitted staff are under real pressure and changes to the system are needed.

"We want to make sure everyone can access the high quality care they need in the right place, the first time.

"We are providing £25m a year to develop and embed new ways of working to create a more integrated system and relieve pressure on certain services.

"NHS Wales’ organisations and Regional Partnership Boards will also be expected to place a greater emphasis on supporting independent living and well-being to prevent the need for urgent or emergency care."

The Health Minister hopes the £25m investment in the Welsh NHS will take pressure off the service. Credit: PA Images

Targets set by the Welsh Government indicate that 95% of people visiting A&E should be seen within four hours.

The percentage of patients this happened to was 70.6%

Ms Morgan also said funding is being given to health boards so they can create new "urgent primary care centres" which will mean patients can assessed without going for a GP appointment or to A&E.

The health minister said she is also urging people to have a "change in mindset" when seeking health care and where to find it.

Despite increasing pressures on frontline services, figures have also shown that 1,529 people started their first round of cancer treatment in May. That is close to rates before the pandemic.

Cancer diagnoses appear to be returning to pre-pandemic levels in Wales. Credit: PA Images

Cancer charity Tenouvuswelcomed the news but said there will still be large numbers of people waiting for a diagnosis.

"Today’s figures show that for the second month running, the number of people with suspected cancer sent for diagnostic tests has been close to the pre-pandemic levels", chief executive Judi Rhys said.

“However encouraging, we also estimate that this nevertheless means that the overall level of the backlog has not reduced.

“We will keep a watchful eye over the coming months as the effect of increasing COVID-19 rates and potential for self-isolation periods, may begin to have a negative impact upon the capacity of NHS Wales to diagnose, treat and support people who come forward with cancer symptoms.”