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Cabinet Secretary response to latest NHS Wales performance data – February and March 2024

Ymateb Ysgrifennydd y Cabinet i ddata perfformiad diweddaraf GIG Cymru – Chwefror a Mawrth 2024

Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care, Eluned Morgan said:

“Despite significant demand on our NHS and some disruption from industrial action NHS staff have worked tirelessly to deliver high-quality care and continue to reduce long waiting times.

“The latest figures show, six of the seven health boards have hit the target to ensure 97% of all waits are less than 104 weeks. And the number of pathways waiting more than two years fell again – for the 23rd month in a row. The average waiting time for treatment is now around 21 weeks.

“Long waits for diagnostics fell to their lowest level since March 2022. Only four other months have been lower since April 2020.

“More than 14,000 people were also given the good news they don’t have cancer in February. But I am very disappointed that overall cancer performance, against the target, fell this month.

“It is also disappointing to see the overall waiting list increase in size after three consecutive falls, but this is not surprising as we saw strike action in February.

“There is still a lot of work to do to improve waiting times and NHS performance. We must focus on improving productivity and efficiency in the NHS – some health boards need to do better.

“This is an area my officials and the NHS Executive will be focusing on. I also want to improve access to information for the public so they can scrutinise the performance of their local health board.

“Demand on emergency services continues to be significant. The number of immediately life-threatening calls to the ambulance service in March was the joint fourth highest on record. But despite this, the average response time to red calls was faster than the same period last year and 80.3% received a response within 15 minutes.

“Attendances at emergency departments were the highest on record for March and admissions to hospital from emergency departments also increased by 10%.

“I’m disappointed to see long stays in emergency departments have increased. I expect health boards to renew their focus on reducing long stays in emergency departments, particularly for frail and older people.”

Notes to editors

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board was the only health board not to achieve the target to ensure 97% per cent of all waits are under 104 weeks. It is currently in special measures for NHS performance.