Responding to figures released today which show that hospital waiting time figures in Wales ‘worst on record’, Darren Hughes, Director of the Welsh NHS Confederation said:
“Before the pandemic, NHS organisations were making steady and positive progress towards dealing with waiting times. However, due to the difficulties of providing care in ways which are adjusted to keep some patients safe from Coronavirus and the high numbers of Coronavirus patients needing hospital treatment, maintaining planned care has been challenging.
“We’re currently running our critical care capacity at over 150% and one third of our hospital beds are being used to care for patients with Covid. At the same time NHS staff are being redeployed to ensure the largest vaccination programme in history is rolled out. Sadly this report is not surprising and it will be some time before care can be delivered at normal rates.
“Overall, these measures are necessary because we cannot simply bring vulnerable patients into our hospitals and risk them becoming exposed to Coronavirus. Unfortunately, that has meant some patients have had to wait a long time for the treatment they need. Nobody in the NHS wants this to be the case, and NHS organisations are working hard to plan for how we deal with the backlog of patients.
“We know this is hard for people, including professionals who want to do the best for their patients, but there is some hope on the horizon and rest assured the NHS will do all we can to ensure we do in fact deal with that backlog once we come through this crisis.”