Following information uncovered and reported by RCT Welsh Liberal Democrats in a Freedom of Information requests about the waiting times for patients waiting for hearing reassessments, Cwm Taf UHB have issued the following statement:
"We sincerely apologise to anyone having to wait this length of time for re-assessments. We have recently allocated additional resource to audiology and the department has been working tirelessly to reduce waits whilst also prioritising those in greatest need. New patients however are seen for hearing testing within 4 weeks and hearing aids are fitted within a total time of 14 weeks.
"The department has achieved high scores in both the all-Wales paediatric and adult standards, and are one of the best performing organisations in Wales against these quality targets from the Welsh Government. For example, in a recent external audit against paediatric quality standards the department scored 96.73%. This is also supported by our patient satisfaction surveys which are completed every year.
"The department is committed to improving care for patients and embarked on a recent plan to involve our 3rd sector partners and patients in delivering care. We plan to collaborate with Wales Council for Deaf People (based in Pontypridd), a patient support group and a lip-reading teacher to help patients come to terms with their hearing loss and give the best advice on how to use and maintain them. It is hoped that these group sessions will take place in late Summer.
Clearly there is more to be done in bringing down waiting times and we are fully committed to making that happen as soon as possible."
The Freedom of information response revealed a waiting time of 73 weeks which means people being added to the list now could expect to wait until November 2015 to be seen.
RCT Welsh liberal Democrat Campaign Manager Karen Roberts said
"The Freedom of Information request only asked for details of waiting times for hearing tests. There was no mention in the response of the lesser waiting times for new patients.
"This is of course good news for patients waiting to be assessed for the first time, and I do not doubt the quality of care once they are seen. However it is still an unacceptable delay for anyone with an existing problem waiting to be re-assessed.
"This is just one of many instances throughout Wales where waiting times for diagnosis and treatment are far too high."
Reported by RCT Welsh Liberal Democrats in a Freedom of Information request below