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Massive increase and manipulation of NHS waiting times unacceptable - Peter Black

2009 Awst 26 12:22 PM

Recent Welsh Government statistics show the number of people having to wait more than the maximum time for in-patient, out patient and day appointments has continually increased over the last few months.

Since the end of the last financial year waiting times have shot up showing the real effects of the Health Minister's target led health service.

The recent figures show an increase from 3,172 to 5,840 in the number of people waiting over 10 weeks for a first outpatient appointment.

Peter Black, Welsh Lib Dem Shadow Health Minister said: "This last rise in the number of people waiting over 10 weeks for a first outpatient appointment is shocking."

"I do not understand why there can be such drastic increases in the number of people waiting for treatment from one month to the next. So much progress was made at the end of the financial year but it is now in danger of being completely wiped out.

"This is the effect of a target led health service, determined to push waiting times statistics down by the end of the financial year, but allowing them to slip back up later on. This is not acceptable.

"Waiting times should be based on clinical requirements and what it is possible to achieve, not on what point of the financial year someone gets sick. What is clear is that improvements are not being sustained."