THE Health and Social Services Minister Eluned Morgan has responded to the latest NHS Wales performance data. Eluned Morgan said:
“It is encouraging to see progress on reducing some of the longest waits and the average waiting time for treatment in Wales is 19.1 weeks – 10 weeks less than the peak three years ago, and two and a half weeks shorter than a year ago.
This is despite the continued demand on our hard-working NHS staff. Referrals for cancer and other specialities were the highest on record in June, with overall referrals for treatment up 20% on the same time last year.
June saw the highest proportion of people waiting less than 26 weeks for treatment (59.3%), for three years, and waits over a year for an outpatient appointment and two-years for treatment continue to fall.
Waits over two years have now fallen by 60% since the launch of our Covid recovery programme.
While demand for services is not slowing and the overall waiting list has risen again, we need to ensure we are managing our resources effectively. Last year more than 6,000 treatments were cancelled at the last minute.
Last minute cancellations mean wasted resources – it’s a loss of consultant and surgeon time when that space could have been offered to someone else.
That is why I have today launched our Three Ps waiting well policy to support people waiting for treatment to prevent some of those cancellations and ensure people get the best results.
Emergency departments and ambulances continue to see sustained levels of high demand, however performance against the emergency department four-hour target and ambulance red-call response times are holding up well, in line with recent improvements. In July, the ambulance service responded to more incidents within 10 minutes than in July last year.
July saw the second highest proportion of calls answered by the 111 helpline in over a year. It is great to see more people are now using this service to get the right help for them and reduce pressure on the NHS elsewhere.
For cancer services 132 more people started their first definitive treatment, 23 more within target, than the same month last year. There was also a 14% increase in the number told they don’t have cancer (14,575) compared with June 2022.