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12 hour A&E waits double

The number of patients waiting over 12 hours in Welsh Accident & Emergency departments has doubled in the past three months to over 2,000, new figures published today confirm.

The Welsh Government’s target of 95% of patients being seen within four hours has not been met once since Carwyn Jones became First Minister in 2009. In November 2014, just 83.8% of patients were seen within the four hour target time, a deterioration of 1% on the previous month.

In Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board, one in ten patients was forced to wait over eight hours, while one in twenty waited over 12 hours.

In total, 2,034 patients in Wales waited over 12 hours in November 2014, compared to 1,025 in August 2014. The Welsh Government’s target is that no patient waits that long.

The worst performing hospital for four hour waits was Morriston Hospital in Swansea, where just 69.4% of patients were seen within four hours.

Darren Millar AM, Shadow Minister for Health, said, “As the Welsh NHS continues to reel from Labour’s decision to impose record-breaking cuts on the Welsh NHS budget, the number of patients waiting more than 12 hours to be seen in A&E has doubled.

“No patient should be forced to endure a wait of over 12 hours in A&E, but under Labour, thousands of Welsh patients are suffering this indignity.

“Labour has missed its 95% A&E target every single month since 2009 and the figures are getting worse with more patients waiting over 4,8 and 12 hours compared to the previous month.

“As we head into the winter months, Labour Ministers must get to grips with the problems in unscheduled care, which make the jobs of hardworking staff even more difficult and adversely affect the recovery chances of patients.”