Six-month plus waits for diagnosis and therapy rise 21%
The number of people waiting more than six months for diagnosis and therapy on the Welsh NHS has increased by 21% since March.
For the month of June – the most up-to-date records available – Welsh Government data shows that 691 people waited over 24 weeks for diagnostic and therapy services compared to 502 in March.
Over the same period, people waiting between 14 and 24 weeks rose by 39%, with 1,874 patients waiting in June against 1,141 in March.
The health board worst affected by this rise was Aneurin Bevan, who in a four-month window saw a 67% increase in the number of patients waiting longer than six months for diagnosis and therapy, and a 39% increase in those waiting between 14 and 24 weeks.
Patients waiting more than six months for a colonoscopy across Wales’ seven health boards grew by a fifth, while those seeking occupational therapy rose to 155 – up 32% from March.
Commenting on the data, Welsh Conservative Shadow Health Secretary Angela Burns AM, said:
“Behind every statistic is a personal story of unacceptable delay that simply shouldn’t exist. For the elderly and vulnerable in particular, that means unnecessary suffering and misery.
“Waiting more than six months to see a health professional carries a strong likelihood that your condition will have worsened by the time it is diagnosed and treated, becoming more complicated and more expensive for the NHS to minister.
“After nearly two decades in charge of our health service, the Welsh Labour Government must not delay in tackling once and for all the perennial issues blighting the Welsh NHS – from poor recruitment and a lack of hospital beds to chronic underfunding.”