Bleak week for NHS in Wales
It's been another bleak week for NHS statistics in Wales. Hard working front line NHS staff must be utterly demoralised seeing the constant bad news headlines and it is time the Welsh Labour Government addressed the problems.
Welsh Government targets are being missed across the board. Currently there is an aim that 95% of patients waiting for treatment should wait no more than 26 weeks, and nobody should wait more than 36 weeks. Newly published figures to the end of October show that neither target was hit here in Cwm Taf or across Wales - in fact neither target was met in any month at an all Wales level between October 2013 and October 2014.
Not a single Welsh health board met the 95% target for urgent cancer patients. On a Wales-wide basis, this target has still not been met since 2008.
A&E waiting times were also published and again these showed how patients in Wales are being let down by the system. For the month of November, 83.8% of patients spent less than four hours in Wales' Accident & Emergency departments from arrival, until admission, transfer or discharge. This is despite a target of 95%.
Cllr Mike Powell, Welsh Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate Pontypridd, said
"Across Wales 20% of people spent more than four hours in A&E whilst 126 people in Cwm Taf spent more than 12 hours in A&E departments.
"Worryingly for people in the Rhondda and Taff Ely areas the waiting times for the Princess of Wales hospital were worse - and it is there of course that some critical care services will be moved from the Royal Glamorgan.
"We are constantly seeing headlines about the NHS in England failing to meet targets, and it is true, they often do, but their targets there are higher and they are not exceeded by such a margin. There the target referral to treatment time is for 95% of people to be seen in 16 weeks, not 26, and the percentage of people who wait more than 4 hours in A&E is smaller.
"Pontypridd MP and Labour Shadow Secretary of State for Wales Owen Smith has been quick to criticise the health service in England and his party are busy trying to convince everyone that they are the ones who can be trusted with the NHS. The evidence coming from his colleagues in Wales says otherwise although I won't be holding my breath for any criticism coming from him in that direction. "