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Action needed after Accident and Emergency waiting times rise again

2009 Rhagfyr 18 9:52 AM

Commenting on the release of new statistics that show waiting times in accident and emergency departments rose during November and that government targets were missed, Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Health Minister, Peter Black said:

"Having to wait four hours to see someone in casualty should not be occurring this regularly. I have had waiting times reported to me as long as thirteen hours. That means if you went in at nine in the evening, you could still be late for work the next day! It is unbelievable."

"We know that during winter the NHS gets pushed to the limit and sometimes waits become unavoidable, but I am not aware of any specific problems that occurred in November, so how did the situation get so bad?"

""The recent Wales Audit Office identified accident and emergency> departments as 'bottlenecks', in which patients have to wait longer because of delays elsewhere in the hospital such as a shortage of beds.

"But reports I am getting is that many Accident & Emergency departments are being forced to operate below recommended staffing levels, and despite the very best efforts of staff this is putting patients at risk and means longer waits for treatment. Waiting times will only improve when these staffing issues are addressed."


The government target is that 95% of A&E attendances should be treated within four hours and 99% within eight hours. In November only 89.3% were treated within four hours and 97.8% seen within eight.

Full statistics can be found at http://wales.gov.uk/docs/statistics/2009/091217sdr2062009en.pdf?lang=en