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The Welsh Government has responded to the latest NHS performance data published today. A spokesperson said:

First published:
20 June 2024
Last updated:

This is a disappointing set of NHS performance figures for April and May and shows we still have a long way to go to reduce long waits which built up during the pandemic, but it should be noted that these figures may have been affected by a reduction in activity during the Easter holiday period in early April.

The overall waiting list has grown again and, after 24 months of consecutive falls, the number of people waiting more than two years for treatment has increased.

We have made it a priority to reduce long waiting times and today the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care has met with health board chairs to instruct them to redouble their efforts to tackle these and the significant variation across Wales.

Unprecedented levels of demand are contributing however, with more new referrals in the latest year than ever before. April saw the second highest average daily new referrals for any month on record.

More people started their first cancer treatment in April than in March and more people were given the good news they don’t have cancer than the previous month.

But despite treating more new and existing cancer patients in April, delivery against the cancer target fell. We are determined to improve consistency against this target for people who are referred with suspected cancer.

These figures show the NHS is continuing to manage incredible demand for urgent and emergency care – the number of immediately life-threatening 999 calls in May was 25% higher than the previous year and demand is nearly two-and-a-half times higher than pre-pandemic levels.

More people received a response within eight minutes compared to May last year but ambulance response times are still not where we, the ambulance service or the public want them to be.

May saw the highest number of emergency attendances on record but performance against the four hour target remained stable.

Emergency admissions also fell by 2.3%, which is a testament to the success of new services we have funded to help keep people out of hospital.

We need to continue to provide more alternatives to emergency department care for people who do not need to go to hospital so we can safely support people in their local communities and prevent unnecessary admissions.

We will continue to support our incredibly hard working NHS staff as they provide life-saving and life-changing care.

We are very hopeful that junior doctors, consultants and SAS doctors will vote for the recommendations made by the BMA Wales Committees to accept the recent pay offers so that we can all focus our efforts on ensuring the best possible clinical outcomes for the people of Wales.