THE Welsh Liberal Democrats have described NHS Wales waiting times as unacceptable following the release of December’s A&E waiting times data showing waiting times to be the worst on record.

Winter pressures typically lead to longer waiting times across NHS Wales, but this year’s pressures have been exceptional.

This month has seen Hywel Dda cancel planned operations for several days in the name of patient safety, whilst there has been a 23% rise in the number of red category calls received by the Welsh Ambulance Service compared to last year.

Jane Dodds, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, commented:

“A&E waiting times are unacceptable. Every patient forced to wait in overcrowded hospital waiting rooms and corridors is a patient being let down by the very service built to support them.

“We know pressures on the NHS are always greater in winter, but these new figures clearly show that the challenges facing our A&E departments go far beyond seasonal pressures.

“Our hard-working NHS staff are doing all they can in exceptionally difficult circumstances, but it is unfair that many feel they’ve no choice but to work longer shifts and sacrifice their breaks in order to help care for their patients.

“It is vital that the Welsh Government urgently gets to grips with A&E waiting times so we can improve patient safety, increase staff retention and give patients the quality treatment they deserve.”

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