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100,000 extra patients on Wales NHS waiting list in just one year

Patients and NHS staff in Wales deserve a healthcare system 'at least as good as elsewhere in the UK,' Welsh Conservatives have said, as the NHS waiting list in Wales rises by nearly 100,000 in just one year.

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Patients and NHS staff in Wales deserve a healthcare system 'at least as good as elsewhere in the UK,' Welsh Conservatives have said, as the NHS waiting list in Wales rises by nearly 100,000 in just one year.

Latest Welsh NHS data for July showed the number of patients waiting for treatment – on patient pathways – at 743,229, up from 644,463 in 2021 – leaving well over a fifth of the Welsh population on the waiting list.

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The number of people waiting over two years is now 60,557 – up from 15,790 a year ago.

Local Politician and Welsh Conservative Shadow Health Minister Russell George MS said:

“Time and time again we see these extraordinary waits in the Labour-run NHS but little strategy to tackle them – the statement on winter pressures from the Minister this week contained no plan – with two-year waits at over 60,000 compared to less than 3,000 in both England and Scotland,”

“Not only that, but we can then look at England and see surgical hubs, a modernised and technologically efficient system, and a new plan to ensure people can see GPs within a fortnight, with poor performers named and shamed using league tables.

“Patients and NHS staff in Wales deserve a healthcare system at least as good as elsewhere in the UK but, instead, Labour insist on us putting up with what we’re given as they plunder public funds to stuff Cardiff Bay with 36 new politicians and impose the dreaded tourism tax on our nation.

Responding to the latest NHS Wales performance data, a Welsh Government spokesperson said:

“We continue to see improvements and a high number of people receiving treatment, with over 358,000 consultations taking place in the latest month. 

“The number of pathways waiting more than two years decreased for the fourth consecutive month, falling by 14% since the peak in March. July also saw just over 87,000 patient pathways closed, a significant increase from the early stages of the pandemic and 10% higher than for the same month in 2021.

“Performance against targets for diagnostic and therapies services continues to improve despite a general increase in demand for both services. Within diagnostics the number of patient pathways waiting longer than eight weeks went down and for therapies the number waiting longer than fourteen weeks also decreased to just over 12,500.

“Emergency care staff and services remain under pressure and performance is not where we, health boards nor the public want it to be. However, it is encouraging to see a 16% reduction in emergency admissions to hospitals in Wales when compared to August 2021.

“Our investment into Same Day Emergency Care services is helping to support this reduction and improve outcomes for patients. We also saw performance marginally improve against the four hour target, and the average (median) time spent in emergency departments shortened in August.

“We also saw improvement in average (median) amber call response times which were almost 23 minutes quicker than in July.  Amber calls include responding to heart attacks and strokes. We continue to prioritise improving discharge planning and an increase in community capacity ahead of the winter period.”

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