Welsh NHS Confederation comment on Accident and Emergency waiting times

Vanessa Young, Director of the Welsh NHS Confederation

Vanessa Young, Director of the Welsh NHS Confederation, said:  “In the last couple of weeks our members across Wales have been reporting an increase in the number of people attending A&E departments and most significantly they are seeing more older patients who need admission due to the complexity and severity of their condition. 

“The A&E waiting time figures for December highlight the substantial level of pressure currently being felt by unscheduled care services as well as the wider health and care system in Wales.  Local Health Boards and Trusts have developed and are implementing winter plans so they are as well-equipped as possible to respond to the increase in demand for services.  A&E waiting times are impacted by a number of factors, including the complexity of the care patients need, the ability of the NHS to work with partners to avoid hospital admissions, the length of time patients need to spend in hospital and how they are supported once they have been discharged.  Staff are working tirelessly with colleagues in primary care, social services, the Welsh Ambulance Service and the voluntary sector to meet patients’ needs during this very busy winter period. 

“Our members will continue to work hard to maintain healthcare services during this challenging time and we would also encourage people to work with us, where possible, by choosing the right service when they are unwell, making use of the Choose Well website, minor injury units, GPs, pharmacies or NHS Direct Wales, and only dialling 999 or visiting A&E when it is an emergency."

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