Fewer Gwent patients waiting more than 36 weeks

First published in News South Wales Argus: Photograph of the Author by

FEWER patients are waiting more than 36 weeks for treatment in Gwent than in any other part of Wales that has an acute hospital, according to the latest figures.

But after going for more than a year without a patient being on a waiting list for longer than 36 weeks, Aneurin Bevan Health Board has had people waiting over 36 weeks in four of the five months to September inclusive.

And that appears to be a consequence of rising numbers of patients in Gwent in the 26-36 week waiting time category.

Wales-wide, waiting times of longer than 36 weeks fell to around 1,600 at the end of March, but by the end of September that figure had doubled.

Three health boards providing acute services - Aneurin Bevan, Betsi Cadwaladr and Hywel Dda - had eliminated waits over 36 weeks by the end of March, but all have since risen, though that for the Gwent area covered by Aneurin Bevan Health Board has been the smallest and the most recent.

Two years ago, rapidly rising numbers of long waits in orthopaedics in Gwent hospitals prompted the then health minister Edwina Hart to place the department in special measures.

During 2011/12 the health board determined to keep all treatment waits below 36 weeks, an aim that succeeded.

That has not proved possible to maintain so far during 2012/13, though compared to the 1,960 patients in Cardiff waiting more than 36 weeks, Gwent is still performing well.

Despite high demand, orthopaedics had no patients waiting more than 36 weeks at the end of September.

Of the 37 waiting longer than 36 weeks, 17 were in diagnostics, and eight in ENT (ear, nose and throat), with the remaining 12 spread across ophthalmology, oral surgery, general surgery, and gastroenterology.

Hospitals face a challenge if the numbers of 36-week plus waits are to be kept down, with 26-36 week waits rising by a quarter Wales-wide during July-September.

And compared to September last year 26-36 week waits in Gwent have more than doubled, from 4,160 to 9,422.

Comments (4)

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9:21pm Thu 15 Nov 12

Dave on his Soapbox says...

...you can prove anything with stats...and organisations will manipulate and do what ever to make sure the targets are hit.
What counts as having had treatment....seeing a doctor... then being told because you're overweight you can't be treated until you get below a BMI of 20.
...you can prove anything with stats...and organisations will manipulate and do what ever to make sure the targets are hit. What counts as having had treatment....seeing a doctor... then being told because you're overweight you can't be treated until you get below a BMI of 20. Dave on his Soapbox
  • Score: 0

9:41pm Thu 15 Nov 12

gingertom says...

We have had these kind of reports previously which have not been true. Orthopaedics are always very high.
We have had these kind of reports previously which have not been true. Orthopaedics are always very high. gingertom
  • Score: 0

10:30pm Thu 15 Nov 12

val d'is says...

These figures are not a true reflection of what is going on in ABHB. There is a serial loss of patients on the waiting lists and a new computer system with a supposed transfer of patients from one system to the other has helped maintain the loss. Whilst some patients may be being seen in the requeset times there are so many offshoot waiting lists, serial suspension of patients from the lists due to lack of available treatment, patients appointment letters getting lost in the post and then getting discharged for non attendance its not surprising that the figures have been manipulated to get to the targets. Another problem is with the follow up waiting lists with patients waiting long times to be seen again as these patients are not included in the waiting list target times.
These figures are not a true reflection of what is going on in ABHB. There is a serial loss of patients on the waiting lists and a new computer system with a supposed transfer of patients from one system to the other has helped maintain the loss. Whilst some patients may be being seen in the requeset times there are so many offshoot waiting lists, serial suspension of patients from the lists due to lack of available treatment, patients appointment letters getting lost in the post and then getting discharged for non attendance its not surprising that the figures have been manipulated to get to the targets. Another problem is with the follow up waiting lists with patients waiting long times to be seen again as these patients are not included in the waiting list target times. val d'is
  • Score: 0

10:59am Thu 22 Nov 12

Gwenter says...

Gwent does not exist. It was a failed local government experiment. Born 1974 to universal hatred. Died 1996 - SIXTEEN YEARS AGO!
Gwent does not exist. It was a failed local government experiment. Born 1974 to universal hatred. Died 1996 - SIXTEEN YEARS AGO! Gwenter
  • Score: 0

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