Welsh NHS Confederation comments on A&E waits

Ward staff member with hospital equipment

Vanessa Young, Director of the Welsh NHS Confederation, said: “We know January was an extremely busy month for the whole of NHS Wales, in particular unscheduled care services which saw high levels of extremely sick patients with complex needs requiring treatment and support.

“Today’s waiting time figures demonstrate the substantial level of pressure felt by emergency departments in recent weeks. Staff have been working incredibly hard to deliver care to patients and it’s important that we recognise these efforts. While there has been a rise in the number of patients waiting more than 12 hours, nearly eight in ten patients spent less than four hours waiting for admission, transfer or discharge during the month.

“A&E waiting times are impacted by a number of factors, including the complexity of the care required, 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. 

“Local Health Boards and Trusts have been implementing their winter plans in order to be as well-equipped as possible to respond to increases in demand for services and this has helped in managing some of the significant pressures in recent weeks. 

“Our members will continue to work hard to deliver services 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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