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Another damning set of A & E and time-to-treatment figures

A & E and referral-to-treatment figures released today (February 20) generally paint a grim picture of the state of NHS Wales under this Labour administration.

The figures for January 2020 were published today, and for the second month running, the worst-performing hospital is Wrexham Maelor. Nearly half (47.3 percent) of patients missed the four-hour target.

It was closely followed – again – by Ysbyty Glan Clwyd at 46.5 percent missing the target, and Moriston Hospital dropped into the top three worst performing hospitals with more than a third of patients (39.3 percent) not being seen within four hours.

The troubled Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board – which has been in special measures since June 2015 – was again the worst-performing health board with just 68.7 percent of patients being seen within the critical four-hour period.

Some 6,882 patients were forced to wait more than 12 hours for treatment, which is worse than in December, a figure that the Welsh Labour Government was forced to acknowledge as the highest number on record.

Nearly a quarter (21 per cent) of patients were not seen at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, the worst performing hospital, within 12 hours. Keeping its unenviable position as the worst performing health board was Betsi Cadwaladr. Just 87.8 percent of patients were seen within 12 hours.

The referral-to-treatment times for December 2019 make for equally disheartening reading.

In the month of December 2019, 80.6 per cent of patients (545 out of 679) newly diagnosed with cancer via the urgent suspected cancer route started definitive treatment within the target time of 62 days, this is below the target of 95 per cent and down 0.9 percentage points from October 2019.

Aneurin Bevan UHB has the worst statistics for patients starting cancer treatment. Just 65.3 percent started treatment within the target 62 days, a drop of nearly 10 percent compared with 74.4 percent who started treatment within 62 days in October 2019.

Commenting, the Shadow Health Minister – Angela Burns AM/AC – said that the figures “… show a Welsh Labour Government unable to cope with a crisis it has created, and one it seemingly cannot solve”.

She added:

“Month in, month out, generally increasingly worse figures are published. Each month, the Health Minister is pressed to take action, and each month he fails to do so. Whether it’s a minister and government that cannot improve or will not improve waiting times is open to debate.

“In those critical times when people attend A & E departments, they need the reassurance that they will be seen not ‘as soon as possible’, but within – and well within – the waiting periods set by this Welsh Labour Government and its Health Minister.”

“And let’s be clear: our hardworking NHS Wales staff are there to deliver the best care that they can, but they, too, are being let down by mismanagement at the top. It’s a credit to them that they manage to cope under such circumstances.

“Welsh Conservatives have called on the Health Minister to stand down, or be sacked. His party’s leader could act to make the changes that could help patients in Wales, but has not.

“It’s time to look to the months and year ahead. Our plans for the NHS Wales would reverse the poor performance we’ve seen under successive Welsh Labour Governments, and make our NHS the envy of the world.”