Wales

NHS Wales waiting increase 'shameful', Lib Dems say

  • 8 August 2013
  • From the section Wales
Surgery
The Welsh government said most people wait less than 26 weeks for treatment

More than 10,000 patients have been waiting more than the maximum 36 weeks for NHS treatment, according to official figures.

Opposition parties said the latest increase was "shameful", and accused the Welsh government of complacency.

The new data showed 10,100 people waiting beyond the 36 week target time at the end of June, an increase of 1,200 on the previous month.

The total waiting for treatment reached 410,000, a rise of 4,300 since May.

Kirsty Williams, the leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, said: "As always, this complacent Welsh Labour Government will stick its head in the sand and pretend everything is okay.

"But the fact is that waiting lists are continuously growing. In fact, these figures are the worst they have been in over a 25 month period.

"It is shameful that the Welsh government has allowed the situation to get this bad."

'Skyrocketing'

The Welsh Conservatives have called for the NHS budget to rise in line with inflation, as has happened in England.

Shadow Health Minister Darren Millar AM said: "These waits lay bare the true scale of the cash crisis in the Welsh NHS.

"Waiting times are no longer creeping up - they're now skyrocketing - fuelled by Welsh Labour's record-breaking cuts to the health budget.

"As health boards struggle to break even and balance the books, it is patients and their families who are hit the hardest."

Of the 410,061 patients waiting for treatment, 89.8% had been waiting less than 26 weeks, and 97.5% had been waiting less than 36 weeks.

A Welsh government spokeswoman said: "The majority of patients continue to be waiting less than 26 weeks, and we welcome the 2% improvement in the number waiting less than 26 weeks between May and June.

"The number of patients waiting in excess of 36 weeks has increased, but each health board has submitted recovery plans showing how they will clear the backlog.

"The minister expects improvements from all health boards over the coming months in all specialities."

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