NHS Wales Chief Executive Judith Paget has responded to the latest NHS Wales performance data for April and May 2023.
She said: “Our NHS continues to see historically high levels of demand, but our dedicated, hard-working staff continue to provide high quality care every day.
“I am pleased to see continued improvement in timeliness of ambulance response – the best in a year – and further improvement in the performance of emergency departments despite continued pressure.
“The average number of daily attendances at emergency care facilities was the second highest on record in May, with nearly 100,000 attendances, but performance improved against the four-hour target. The average (median) time spent in emergency departments was just over 2 hours 30 minutes last month.
Despite an increase in the average number of immediately life-threatening calls to the ambulance service each day in May, the proportion responded to in eight minutes increased by 1.4 percentage points to 54.4%. This was the best performance for a year, while over 85% of red calls saw a response on scene within 15 minutes.
While I recognise much more needs to be done it’s encouraging to see improvements starting to come through a year after the launch of our Six Goals for Urgent and Emergency Care Programme.
It’s disappointing to see the overall waiting list increase for the second month in a row, after falling for five consecutive months. But two-year waits decreased for the thirteenth consecutive month and the Health Minister has asked health boards to redouble efforts to tackle the longest waits.
This must be seen in the context of continued high demand, with a significant increase in referrals since the COVID-19 pandemic. And we always expect less planned care activity during the Easter holidays.
Activity in Primary Care also continues to increase, with hundreds of thousands of patients being seen in General Practices across Wales each week.
Today I am visiting Llandough hospital to see how Cardiff and Vale Health Board have cut their cancer waiting times backlog and in April they were the top performing health board for cancer services. It’s important that health boards learn from each other about how they are improving performance.
We are meeting health boards to support them in improving performance and in particular tackling the longest waits for treatment.”