According to the latest finding from Royal College of Surgeons (RCS), the number of patients waiting more than 12 months for an operation in Wales has risen by more than 400 per cent in the past four years.
An RCS Freedom of Information request revealed that the number of people waiting more than 12 months for surgery in March 2017 was 3,605. The figure was 699 in March 2013, 1,016 in March 2014 and 2,848 in March 2015.
The RCN has warned that the Welsh government and NHS Wales must give renewed focus to developing a policy that significantly decreases long waiting times. In recent years, NHS Wales has made progress decreasing 26 week and 36 week waits for surgical treatment.
Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board (ABMU) and Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) saw the greatest leap in patients waiting more than a year.
Responding to the latest figures, the chair of the British Medical Association’s Welsh consultant committee, Dr Trevor Pickersgill said that the Long waiting times have a profound impact on patient experience, and leave staff working under increasingly difficult situations. He described the increases in surgical waits as “deeply concerning”.
The Regional director for Wales at the Royal College of Surgeons, Mr Tim Havard said that NHS Wales and the government must give renewed focus to policies that will help decrease waiting times. In particular, he would like to see better provision of out-of-hospital services and more protection of beds used for planned surgery.
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