Wales experienced its third worst-ever month for A&E waiting times and ambulance waiting times
Another dire month for Labour-run NHS
Wales experienced its third worst-ever month for A&E waiting times and ambulance waiting times in April, while NHS treatment list continues to reach record heights for the 23rd month in a row.
Latest Welsh NHS data for March showed the highest ever number of patients waiting for treatment with over 700,000 on patient pathways – an increase of nearly 10,000 in one month – leaving 1-in-5 Welsh people on the waiting list.
The number of people waiting over two years is now over 70,000, more than trebling since August 2021. The median waiting time for that same month in Wales was 23 weeks compared to 12 in England, while 1-in-4 Welsh patients wait over a year for treatment, only 1-in-20 do so in England.
Additional figures showed over a third (34%) of patients had to wait over the four hour target to be seen in A&E last month – the third worst figure for the Labour-run Welsh NHS on record.
In England and Scotland, the equivalent figures were 28% and 30%, respectively. The Welsh target to get 95% admittances seen in four hours has never been met in its 13-year existence.
Statistics also revealed that:
- North Wales’ Betsi Cadwaladr health board was the worst performing area in the nation against the four-hour A&E target, seeing only 56% in four hours;
- An astonishing 65% and 32% of Ysbyty Glan Clwyd’s emergency patients had to wait over four and 12 hours, respectively, making it the worst performing site in Wales;
- Over 10,000 patients waited over 12 hours in Welsh hospitals, more than double the number the same time last year; and
- Those aged over 85 spent an average of eight hours and 10 minutes to be seen in A&E, the second longest on record.
When it came to ambulance performance in April, only 51% of responses to immediately life-threatening calls arrived within eight minutes, down from 61% in April 2021. The target of 65% of red-calls reaching their patient within eight minutes has not been reached in over 18 months.
Staggeringly, two-thirds of amber call patients – which include strokes – took over an hour to reach, with only 18% arriving within 30 minutes.
The slowest ambulances were in Dyfed’s Hywel Dda health board with only 39% arriving within the eight-minute target of a red-call and only 59% coming to the scene within an hour of an amber case in Powys.
The figures come the day after a health board watchdog called a report into Ysbyty Glan Clwyd’s A&E department the “worst” it had ever seen and the Health Minister scrapped plans that would have given NHS Wales’ leadership greater independence of government.
Last month’s statistical release revealed Wales experienced its worst-ever A&E waits, longest NHS waiting list, and second slowest ambulance responses.
Commenting, Welsh Conservative and Shadow Health Minister Russell George MS said:
“Last week, the Labour Government released its plans to spend millions of taxpayer money on more politicians for Cardiff Bay. Labour is so self-absorbed that they prioritise shoring up their own fiefdoms before fixing the NHS and ensuring the hundreds of thousands of people languishing in pain on an NHS waiting list are treated promptly, people who put healthcare before the constitution.
“After reading another month of devastating news on NHS performance – where the treatment list exploded by 10,000 in one month – no one will think this is a wise use of governmental time. All the while, the Health Minister reneges on her promise to make NHS leadership more independent of her ineffectual government.
“Let there be no doubt of the scale of the crisis the NHS finds itself in while Labour spend time and energy pursing objectives totally opposite to the people’s priorities. Mark Drakeford is Nero fiddling as Rome burned. Labour need to get a grip on the NHS and stop breaking all the wrong records.”