A damning report into the Welsh Labour Governments ever-growing NHS waiting list crisis
A damning report into the ever-growing NHS waiting list crisis has called on the Labour government to put “robust plans” in place as soon as possible.
The report – titled ‘Waiting Well? The impact of the waiting times backlog on people in Wales’ – comes after an inquiry into the matter by the Senedd’s Health and Social Care Committee.
The 93-page document, released today (April 7), said: “People were already waiting too long for diagnosis, care and treatment before the pandemic.
“COVID-19 has undoubtedly made the problem worse across all specialties and all stages of the pathway, including outpatients, diagnostics, therapy services, mental health support, pain relief and treatment.
“It is frequently said that the equivalent of 1 in 5 people in Wales are currently on a waiting list for diagnosis or treatment. That is a shocking statistic, with implications both for the performance of our health service and levels of ill health in Wales.
“Behind those numbers are individuals whose daily lives—and potentially those of their families, friends or carers—are being affected adversely by delayed diagnosis or care.”
It added: “It is crucial that the Welsh Government and health boards put in place robust plans to tackle the backlog, and to ensure that people receive the care and treatment they need as soon as possible. This must include arrangements to support people who are waiting, and to communicate with them effectively so that no one feels forgotten.”
Commenting on the report, Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies MS said:
“With every month that goes by, NHS waiting lists in Wales have been seriously spiralling out of control but yet we are still waiting for robust action from the Labour administration in Cardiff Bay.
“The Welsh Conservatives have long said NHS waiting lists were in a bad way even before coronavirus reared its ugly head, and I am pleased to see this cross-party report has come to the same conclusion.
“Labour ministers must stop trying to hide behind coronavirus as an excuse and take drastic action to tackle the ever-growing NHS waiting lists as having nearly 700,000 people languishing in paid is totally unacceptable.
“Unfortunately waiting lists for vital mental health treatment and dental work are also going through the roof thanks to Labour’s mismanagement of our public services for more than two decades.
“I really hope this damning report spurs Labour’s health minister, Baroness Eluned Morgan, into action and she implements the report’s 27 recommendations as soon as possible as the health of our nation is at stake.”