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NHS Confederation - Governments must act now as demand continues to rise

Darren Hughes responds to the latest NHS activity and performance statistics for the NHS in Wales.

  • In April, there was an average of 3,049 daily attendances to emergency departments, an increase compared to the previous month.
  • Performance improved against the four and twelve-hour targets and the average (median) time spent in emergency departments decreased in April compared to the previous month to two hours and forty minutes. 
  • In March, the overall number of patient pathways increased from just over 762,500 to just under 768,900, the highest figure on record. 
  • Just over 20,600 pathways were waiting more than two years, over two thirds (70.7%) lower than the peak and falling for the twenty-fourth consecutive month.

Responding to the latest NHS activity and performance statistics in Wales, director of the Welsh NHS Confederation Darren Hughes said:

“Emergency departments experienced their busiest April on record, showing high levels of demand are no longer just seen in the peak winter months.

“Although the statistics make for difficult reading, the hard work of staff to treat those waiting the longest for treatment is bearing fruit, with the number waiting over two years falling for the twenty-fourth consecutive month, with a 71% drop since its peak post-pandemic.

“March also saw four days of industrial action by junior doctors in Wales, in the run up to an exceptionally busy Easter bank holiday weekend for NHS services. This had a huge knock-on effect in the following days and even weeks, when we saw several hospitals announce Business Continuity Incidents due to the intense pressures on the service.

“The reality is that the NHS is seeing more people who are more ill with much more complex needs. This is evidenced by record levels of immediately life-threatening calls to the ambulance service, as well as the growing number of people waiting for diagnostics and treatment.

“Governments must invest in prevention, primary, community and social care if we’re going to reduce demand to sustainable levels. Community and social care are crucial in helping patient flow through hospitals, allowing the NHS to see those with more acute needs more quickly, but also in reducing demand for emergency care by preventing people’s conditions from deteriorating.

“If governments do not act now, the situation will only deteriorate as demand continues to rise.”

Original article link: https://www.nhsconfed.org/news/governments-must-act-now-demand-continues-rise

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