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Don't blame patients for A and E delays

The Shadow Minister for Health has raised concerns over evidence suggesting NHS Wales’ Chief Executive is entirely wrong on accident and emergency statistics.

 

The Royal College of Emergency Medicine has today highlighted Andrew Goodall’s claims that 80 per cent of patients don’t need to be at A and E, citing 15 per cent as the figure its own research has uncovered.

 

The College also disagrees with the chief executive’s approach to attending emergency departments.

 

 

Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Health, Darren Millar AM, said:

 

“It's astonishing that those in charge of the Welsh NHS don't seem to fully appreciate how or why people are accessing our emergency departments.

 

"Whilst everyone should try to choose well when they need to access the unscheduled care system, it is often difficult to determine whether a problem is very serious until it has been fully investigated by a clinician.

 

"It's also more difficult to choose well in Labour-run Wales when your minor injury unit has closed or you can't access a GP appointment.

 

"Whilst there are some patients who are irresponsible in the way that they use our emergency departments, the overwhelming majority do so either because they can't access other services or because they are genuinely concerned that they need urgent medical attention. Patients don't wait for 4 hours or more in emergency departments for the sheer fun of it.

 

"Instead of blaming patients for what many expect to be a difficult winter ahead for the Welsh NHS, the Chief Executive would do better to challenge Labour Ministers over their record-breaking cuts to health budgets and call on them to invest the extra resources that our NHS so desperately needs."