“Our hard-working NHS staff continue to operate amid high and increasing levels of demand. At least 2 million contacts are made with the NHS each month, in a country with a population of over 3.1 million residents – including 500,000 consultations. On top of this 399,000 hits were recorded on the NHS Wales 111 website and 71,000 calls made to the phone 111 service.
“It’s encouraging to see the longest waits are continuing to fall, now more than 60% lower than the peak. The majority of pathways (59.7%) are waiting less than 26 weeks, and the median is still around 19 weeks.
“The number of people waiting longer than eight weeks for diagnostic services has also decreased.
“It’s disappointing to see overall waiting lists back to their highest levels on record and that is due to the number of people joining the waiting lists. But over the last 12 months waiting lists in Wales have only increased by 1.9% compared to 10.7% in England. Health boards are working hard to tackle the longest waits and the most urgent cases are always seen first.
“Demand for emergency care services remains high, and performance is stable and generally better than the same period in 2022. The average response time for the most urgent ambulance call (red) was seven minutes and 57 seconds which is under the 8 minute target but this is below the percentage set by the Welsh Government. Almost 70% of patients waited for less than 4 hours to be dealt with in emergency departments.
“We and health and social care partners are working hard to target improvements, particularly in respect of patient flow, ahead of the winter period.
“Cancer treatment has increased against the 62 day target but the Welsh Government accept that there is still more to do in this area despite the fact that 14,074 people were informed in one month that they did not have cancer.
“Despite the pressures on budgets, the Health Minister expects health boards to achieve the new targets for reducing the longest waits and we will continue to support them to achieve that.”