The Welsh Government has issued a statement on the latest NHS Wales performance data published today (Thursday, 21st July).
A Welsh Government spokesperson said:
Progress continues to be made to reduce the longest waits with the number of pathways waiting for more than two years reduced by 4.4% – the second consecutive monthly fall after two years of consistent increases since the pandemic began.
Despite the increase in demand, huge numbers of patients were seen in May with the highest number of inpatient and day case treatments carried out (24,167) since the start of the pandemic. This figure forms part of a total of almost 365,000 patient consultations (not including GP appointments or therapies) undertaken by the NHS in Wales, the fourth highest since the start of the pandemic back in March 2020.
In May, 1,646 people started cancer treatment, 15% more than in April 2022. In addition 11,883 pathways were closed following the patient being informed they did not have cancer, an increase of 13% compared to April 2022.
The expected increase in demand saw referrals rising by 16.7 per cent in May 2022, compared to April, as more people seek help for their conditions following the pandemic.
There continues to be increased demand for emergency care and pressures are being intensified due to challenges with patient flow through the hospital system, as well as staffing constraints including a rise in COVID-sickness. In June, the proportion of all calls that were immediately life-threatening was 10%, which is only the second time since a change to categorisation over three years ago.
An additional 263 ambulance clinicians have been recruited over the last two years and today we have announced a further £3m to recruit around 100 additional frontline staff to support improved response times for the most critically injured and seriously ill for the winter period. A new ambulance improvement plan was also agreed by Health Board chief executives last week and we expect to see improvement in ambulance patient handover performance as a result.