The latest NHS performance statistics for Wales show improvement in almost every area, but demand remains high.
Vanessa Young, Director of the Welsh NHS Confederation said: "A severe winter put extreme pressure on the whole system, from local doctors, community services, mental health and social care to record numbers of people using emergency services. These latest statistics show we are climbing out of that extreme situation but remain in challenging times.
"As I have said before, our staff are our greatest asset, managing impossible workloads and remaining professional and caring throughout. They continue to feel the strain of system that can make it very challenging to deliver the best care possible for their patients.
"The NHS was set up 70 years ago to shoulder the burden of health care, to make sure we all can access the right care when we need it. It has become a system that cannot cope with the modern demands in terms of numbers of patients and complexity of needs. As we struggle to deliver on Aneurin Bevan’s vision, it is the people that suffer as delays in access become the norm.
"Next month the Welsh Government is going to launch its long-term plan for health and social care in Wales. We understand the problems – funding shortfalls, workforce recruitment, and increasing demand from an aging population. What we need this new plan to provide is a blueprint for tackling these challenges and a clear direction of travel to the sustainable health and care service the people of Wales deserve."