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28th March 2019
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NHS Wales continues performance improvement despite another record busy month

Health Minister, Vaughan Gething, has welcomed improvements in emergency department performance and progress in cutting the longest waits for treatment despite another record busy month.

Commenting on the latest performance statistics published today, Mr Gething also thanked NHS Wales staff for their hard work and commitment during the busy period.

The highest number of patients were triaged, assessed, treated and discharged from departments within 4 hours for the month of February since 2012, despite record levels of activity for that month.

He said:

Despite the highest recorded attendances at our emergency departments for February, the highest number of people were seen and treated within the 4-hour target in February since 2012.

There was a decrease of 21.2% of those having to wait over 12-hours in departments compared to last year, and 39% fewer patients waited over an hour for ambulance patient handover compared to February 2018. I am also pleased that all health boards improved on their performance compared to last year.

The Ambulance Service again met its target, with performance on red calls around 5% better than the same month last year. Average response time to amber calls was 8 and a half minutes quicker than in February 2018, while average response time for red calls was 22 seconds quicker than the same time last year.

While we are seeing more people coming through the front door of our hospitals it is pleasing to see that planned care continues to be delivered efficiently and we are cutting the longest waiting times. 

The number of people waiting over 36 weeks in January was 38% lower than January 2018. Diagnostic waits over 8 weeks were 38% lower than the same time last year and waits for therapy services 75% lower over the same time period. I expect to see further improvement by the end of March.

These improvements are testament to the hard work and commitment of our NHS staff and the extra investment and planning we have put into the service. Today I also announced funding for a 6 month extension of our pilot Emergency Department assisted discharge scheme, which helped relieve pressure on clinical staff this winter.

Mr Gething also welcomed improvements in waiting times for Child and Adolescent Mental health Services (CAHMS) and cancer treatment.

“More patients are being treated within the target time for cancer than ever before, there was an increase of 3% in the number of patients treated within the target time in the past 12 months compared to the previous 12 months and 7% more than 5 years ago,” he said.