NHS: Waiting times hit record levels across Wales

Pharmacists transport a cooler containing the Moderna vaccine, at the West Wales General Hospital in Carmarthen
Pharmacists transport a cooler containing the Moderna vaccine, at the West Wales General Hospital in Carmarthen

The number of people waiting in June was 624,909 - up 41% since the beginning of the Covid pandemic

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Waiting lists for non-urgent hospital treatment have hit record levels in Wales.

The number of people waiting in June was 624,909 - up 41% since the beginning of the Covid pandemic - and those waiting more than nine months rose to 233,210.

A&E departments and the Welsh ambulance service had their busiest months since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Another 17,869 people were added to the non-urgent waiting list, with surgeries being postponed as a result of the first wave.

A Welsh government spokesperson said: "Waiting times for treatment continue to grow.

"However, it is encouraging to see progress being made with the number of patients waiting over 52 weeks falling for the third month in a row.

"We also saw the largest number of specialist consultations completed and treatments started in any month since the start of the pandemic."

Wales' Health Minister Eluned Morgan has pledged more than £500m of extra funding to help health and social services in the country to recover from the pandemic, with £140m allocated for tackling the waiting list backlogs.

Here are the figures for June 2021:

  • The overall waiting list for treatment is a record 624,909
  • Numbers of patients waiting more than 36 weeks - nine months - to start treatment in hospital have grown from 25,634 in February 2020 to 233,210 (an increase of 810%)
  • The longest waits included 54,394 people due for orthopaedic or trauma treatment - a 546% increase since February 2020
  • Inroads have been made into those waiting for cardiothoracic surgery, but there were still 108 waiting more than nine months, more than twice the pre-pandemic number
  • Another 34,104 people have been waiting more than nine months for ophthalmology treatment - compared to 4,083 before the start of the pandemic
  • Numbers waiting for diagnostic tests were "markedly higher" than before the pandemic
  • Cancer patients who started their first definitive treatment within 62 days of it first being suspected was the second highest number on record although performance against the 62 day target fell slightly on the previous month.

There were also the highest attendances at A&E departments since the pandemic began and waiting time performance was the worst on record.

The target is that 95% of patients should be seen within four hours but that fell to 69.8% in July.

Overall in Wales more than 7,000 patients waited more than 12 hours in A&E - another record high - with the target that no-one should wait that long.