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Welsh Conservatives to call for national plan to address NHS capacity pressures

In the Assembly this afternoon, the Welsh Conservatives will host a debate calling on the Welsh Labour Government to focus on a plan to properly and consistently fund NHS Wales throughout the year, and end the culture of ‘feast and famine’ through splurging money just for winter.

The opposition day debate is being held ahead of the next few months which usually mark a difficult period for the NHS to highlight the long waiting times in Accident and Emergency departments and for ambulances, which usually spike at that time of the year (motion in notes to editors).

The Welsh Conservatives will be backing Plaid Cymru amendments to the motion which highlights the consequences of low NHS capacity to social services.

Problems with A&E reached breaking point last winter as it was revealed in April that 2016/17 saw the highest number of Welsh A&E patients facing waits of more than 12 hours to be treated.

February 2018 saw the lowest percentage of patients being treated in A&E across Wales (75.9%), only for the number to get worse the following month (75.6%).

It was revealed last month that, in August, two North Wales hospitals achieved the worst accident and emergency performancefor since records began.

The Welsh Labour Government’s target is to treat, transfer, and discharge 95% of its A&E patients across Wales within four hours. The target has not been met in ten years.

Commenting, Welsh Conservative Shadow Health Secretary Angela Burns AM, said:

“Capacity in our NHS has been a chronic problem for years now and so having this debate is essential – not only as a means of holding the Welsh Labour Government to account for their record but so the Welsh people hear a comprehensive check-up on the NHS’ health.

“Low capacity means people being unable to see their GP because surgeries are understaffed. It means operations going postponed for months. It means ambulances being diverted from local areas, reducing their ability to respond quickly.

“Without addressing these concerns, the Welsh Labour Government will continue to undermine emergency services to a dangerous extent.

“In government the Welsh Conservatives would pump prime community and primary care services, relieve pressure on unplanned care, and alleviate the public’s concerns over healthcare access by developing a broad range of services with sustainable strength in community services.”