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Troubling increases in treatment waiting times reported

Figures on NHS activity in Wales – including A & E waiting times, ambulance waiting times, referral to treatment, and cancer treatment – have been published today (November 19) have been described by Andrew RT Davies MS, the Shadow Health Minister, as “troubling”.

  • The number of patient pathways waiting to start treatment by the end of September 2020 was 517,878, an increase of 10.9 percent (50,707) compared with September 2019

 

  • 168,944 patients (32.6 percent) of all patient pathways waiting to start treatment) had been waiting more than 36 weeks from the date the referral letter was received by the hospital, the highest since current data collection began in October 2011

 

  • In September 2020, 11,981 patients entered the cancer pathway. This is a decrease of 8.7 percent (1,145 fewer patients) from September 2019

 

  • Also in September 2020, 1,366 patients newly diagnosed with cancer were treated through the single cancer pathway, a decrease a decrease of 5.6 percent (81 fewer patients) on September 2019

Mr Davies said:

“Coronavirus has led to NHS waiting lists growing longer but the pandemic has only put a spotlight on how bad things were before, and all we get from Labour’s health minister is excuses.

“The people of Wales are still contracting these life-threatening conditions, and still dependent on the Health Minister putting in place a measures to clear the backlog, even though he said that it was ‘foolish’ to have a plan for backlogs before the pandemic is over.

“It’s not foolish, but sensible and will save lives, because it was only last week that leading cancer experts were warning that as many as 2,000 deaths could occur because of Covid-related delays. 

“Welsh Conservatives are again urging the Health Minister to get a grip on this because troubling as these figures are, they are not just abstract numbers. 

“Our plan would mean ramping up capacity in Covid-free hospitals so we can get back on top of treatments, and patients aren’t left waiting in unnecessary agony or anxiety.

“Each figure is a person, and each of them deserves better than Welsh Labour-led Government is providing.”

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