Wales politics

Hospital A&E waiting times: 'More work to be done'

Doctor attends to a baby in an accident and emergency department Image copyright Getty Images

Hospital emergency departments are still failing to meet Welsh Government targets on waiting times.

Figures for July show 83.2% of patients waited less than 4 hours before being admitted, transferred or discharged.

It was slightly down on the 83.3% figure in June, and still well below the 95% target.

Fewer patients waited longer than the maximum 12 hour target than in June, but the Welsh Government said: "We know there is more work to be done."

In July, 2,277 patients - one in 40 - spent more than 12 hours in urgent care units compared to 2,296 in June, although the Welsh Government's target states nobody should wait that long.

A&E departments were busier in July than in June, with patient numbers up nearly 3,000 over the month to 89,265.

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: "While there was a reduction in the number of people waiting over 12 hours in departments when compared with the previous month, we know there is more work to be done by Local Health Boards and key partners. This includes improving patient flow.

"We continue to focus on delivering a whole system approach to unscheduled care, so that patients have better experiences and outcomes."

Welsh Conservative health spokeswoman Angela Burns criticised the fact that the number waiting longer than 12 hours was still a thousand more than in July 2015.

"There are a number of things which have contributed to this rise - too few hospital beds, difficulties in accessing GP appointments; and closing minor injuries units to name but a few," she said.

"Today's figures are further evidence of the Labour-led Welsh Government's mismanagement of our healthcare system.

"How much longer should our hardworking NHS staff and patients have to pay the price for that failure?"

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