The Welsh Government has issued a response to the latest NHS Wales performance data.
The statement reads as follows:
“Despite increasing pressures during unprecedented levels of demand and activity, our hardworking NHS staff continue to deliver high levels of care treating patients during a pandemic.
“Activity levels in cancer services remain high with the second highest number of patients informed they did not have cancer and the third highest number of patients newly diagnosed with cancer starting their first definitive treatment.
“Waiting times remain above pre-pandemic levels and ambulance response times continue to be below target levels. However, although the number of patient pathways waiting longer than 36 weeks continues to be a record high, a higher percentage of patient pathways were waiting less than 26 weeks and the average (median) waiting time for treatment decreased slightly when compared to the previous month.
“Today we announced plans to invest almost £25m in up to four new PET-CT scanners across Wales to improve access to this cutting edge diagnostic technology.
“The new Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Computed Tomography scanners, which will be based in Cardiff, North Wales and Swansea, will provide much needed additional capacity to meet demand in the decade ahead. This will in turn help reduce waiting times and be more convenient for patients.
“We have also recently provided the NHS with an additional £240m to support plans to recover from the Covid pandemic and cut waiting times.
“Pressures on our emergency services continue to remain high. The number of attendances to all NHS Wales emergency departments and average number of emergency department attendances per day in August 2021 were slightly lower than the previous month, but were still higher than last year.
“There were more emergency ambulance calls in August 2021, than in any other August, since comparable data was first collected in October 2015. The proportion of all calls that were immediately life-threatening (red calls) was also the second highest since call handling practices were updated in May 2019.
“We have made £25m funding available to improve delivery of urgent and emergency care services. The Emergency Ambulance Services Committee also has an active delivery plan with action to help manage 999 demand in the community, increase capacity, improve responsiveness, improve ambulance patient handover. There are also plans to improve the flow of patients through the hospital system and out into the community.
“We encourage people to consider the best options for care, and not necessarily head to their local emergency department. To get the right care, first time people can also use the online 111 service and their local pharmacist where appropriate.”