Another terrible month for the Labour-run NHS

Another terrible month for the Labour-run NHS

NHS figures show that performance remains far behind England in tackling treatment waiting lists, while ambulance and A&E waits show little improvement compared to last year.

Nearly a quarter (24%) of the Welsh population is on a waiting list, with the number of people waiting over two years for treatment now at 41,103, despite such waits being virtually eliminated in England and Scotland.

Also, in January, 1-in-5 Welsh patients waited over a year for treatment, but only 1-in-19 do so in England. Meanwhile, the median waiting time for that same month in Wales was 21.4 weeks compared to 14.6 in England.

Commenting, Welsh Conservative and Shadow Health Minister Russell George MS said:

“The Health Minister may have the confidence of their Labour colleagues, but I doubt they will have that of the country after another set of dire figures that show little improvement when it comes to NHS waiting times. “For there still to be tens of thousands of people in Wales waiting over two years for treatment is a damning indictment on the Labour Government’s inability to make a genuine difference to the lives of patients and medical staff.“Comparing this and other performance measures like ambulance response times with England is important because it demonstrates that because of the party in government, people in Wales are experiencing an inferior level of healthcare.

“After 25 in charge, Labour needs to get a grip on the NHS and stop breaking all the wrong records.”

Last month, when it came to ambulance performance in February, only 51% of responses to immediately life-threatening calls arrived within eight minutes.

The target of 65% of red calls reaching their patient within eight minutes has not been reached now since July 2020. Staggeringly, half of the amber call patients – which include strokes – took over an hour to reach, with only 30% arriving within 30 minutes.

The slowest ambulances were in the Hywel Dda health board area with only 39% arriving within the eight-minute target of a red-call. Only 42% came to the scene within an hour of an amber call in Cwm Taf Morgannwg.

The average red call in Wales was responded to in seven minutes and 54 seconds, 36 seconds quicker than the average Category 1 call in England. However, Category 2 calls in England had a median response time of 32:20 minutes, compared to 59:30 minutes for amber calls in Wales.

Meanwhile, 28.4% of patients had to wait over the four-hour target to be seen in A&E last month. The Welsh target to get 95% admittances seen in four hours has never been met in its 13-year existence. Additional statistics also revealed that:

  • The Cwm Taf Morgannwg health board was the worst performing area in the nation against the four-hour A&E target, seeing only 64% in four hours;
  • An astonishing 57% of patients had to wait over four hours at emergency departments in The Grange Hospital near Cwmbran, making it the worst performing site in Wales;
  • Over 8,000 patients waited over 12 hours in Welsh hospitals; and
  • Adults aged 85+ spent an average of over five hours in emergency departments. 

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Team @ AberdareOnline

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