Health Minister must sort out failing A&E system – Veronica German

January 20, 2011 3:19 PM

Figures released by the Welsh Government today reveal that an unacceptable 3,208 patients waited more than eight hours in Welsh A&E departments during December 2010, up more than double the number last December.

The figures also reveal that 11,318 of those patients had to wait more than four hours in A&E. This latest information demonstrates that there are serious problems within the A&E departments in the Welsh NHS.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats exposed at the beginning of the week how Welsh ambulances lost 80,000 hours waiting to discharge their patients to the care of A&E departments.

Labour-Plaid Government set targets were not achieved at the all-Wales level and no NHS Trust met either the four hour or the eight hour target.

Veronica German, Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Health Minister said:

"These statistics clearly show that the Labour-Plaid Health Minister does not have a handle on our A&E departments. On Monday, we exposed the scandal of the 80,000 hours that ambulances had to wait outside A&E departments and now we can see why they waste so much time the A&E departments are not coping. It is unacceptable that these people had to wait more than eight hours to be seen and treated.

"We hear of terrible stories of people having to wait on trollies in corridors and ambulances and having to wait more than eight hours to be treated. The Health Minister knows that this is going on but we see that nothing is being done to address these problems. The NHS in Wales gets proportionally more money than the NHS in England however we have a poorer health service.

"There is a systemic failure in the way the NHS in Wales deals with emergency and unscheduled care. It is not the fault of the hard working paramedics, it is not the fault of the dedicated medical staff at our A&E hospitals, but it is the fault of the Labour-Plaid Health Minister and her poor management and running of the whole system.

"While these statistics do not paint the whole picture about what goes in A&E given that cases are dealt with according to their medical priority, and rightly so, we can see that the NHS in Wales is being let down by this Labour-Plaid Government"

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