Welsh Government response to latest NHS Wales performance data
A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “October saw the first decrease in the number of patient pathways* waiting to start treatment since April 2020. Although record levels of demand on the ambulance service were reported in November there was also some improvement in emergency department performance.
“More than 376,000 consultations+ were carried out in October in hospital alone and over 106,000 patient pathways were closed, an increase of 12.8% from the previous month.
“Progress continues to be made on the longest waits. Two year waits for treatment have fallen for the seventh month in a row and are down by 23% since the peak in March. The proportion of pathways waiting less than 26 weeks increased this month with the number waiting more than 36 weeks falling.
“The number of pathways waiting longer than one year for their first outpatient appointment dropped for the second month in a row. An all-time record 14,412 people were seen and told they don’t have cancer; this is 4% higher than the previous month. Whilst performance decreased slightly against the 62-day target, more people started their first definitive cancer treatment in October 2022 compared to September 2022.
“The proportion of pathways waiting longer than the target times for diagnostics and therapies fell by 4.9% and 4.1% respectively compared to the previous month.
“Our ambulance service and emergency department staff remain under increased pressure. November saw the highest number and proportion of ‘red’/ immediately life threatening calls on record and an increase in the total number of attendances across facilities similar to pre-pandemic levels. However, performance improved against the four hour and twelve hour targets, and there was a reduction in the average wait for an assessment by a doctor.
“Whilst we acknowledge ambulance performance is not where we expect it to be, we are driving system improvements, including extending same-day emergency care services to open seven-days a week, improving management of 999 patients on the phone, and recruiting more staff. Without all this the pressure on the system would be even greater.”
Notes to editors
* The number of patient pathways is not the same as the number of individual patients, because some people have multiple open pathways. More information is available in the Welsh Government’s chief statistician’s blog.
+ Does not include maternity or mental health services.
New management information suggests that in October 2022, when there were about 753,000 open patient pathways, there were just over 589,000 individual patients on treatment waiting lists in Wales. This was a decrease of almost 1,600 patients from the previous month.
Waiting lists statistics are not directly comparable across the four nations of the UK. We have published a Chief Statistician’s blog discussing this here.