Responding to the latest release of the NHS Wales performance statistics, Darren Hughes, Director of the Welsh NHS Confederation said:
“The statistics show some positive improvements in performance as we move throughout the Winter months. One of the key aspects in reducing waiting times and freeing up space at our emergency departments is tackling the issue of delayed transfers of care and to see an overall decrease in this area is particularly encouraging.
“Similarly, we have seen the Welsh Ambulance Service meet its target for the most serious calls this month. There can be no doubt in anyone’s mind those working on the frontline in health and social care are showing extraordinary resilience and determination to give everyone the highest standard of care they can.
“However, we are still seeing record numbers of people spending more than 12 hours in A&E, which is disappointing, but also points to many people coming to our hospitals with complex needs.
“We are at the start of a journey to transform our services, focussing on early interventions, prevention and working closely with our partners, including Local Government. This is the right path to take, but we need to deliver this change faster for the benefit of everyone in Wales.
“The public can really help by using the right health service for their needs – A&E must only be used in an emergency. For example, local pharmacies can provide advice and treatment for common ailments such as coughs and colds. If in any doubt, the Choose Well website has lots of useful information as well as a handy Symptom Checker if you’re unsure of what services are needed.”