NHS in Wales facing an exceptionally challenging time

Darren Hughes, director of the Welsh NHS Confederation, responds to the latest release of NHS activity and performance statistics in Wales.

22 July 2021

Responding to the latest release of NHS activity and performance statistics, Darren Hughes, director of the Welsh NHS Confederation, said:

“We welcome Welsh Government’s announcement of additional funding to support urgent and emergency health care, which should help to further partnership working between NHS organisations in Wales and social care partners through Regional Partnership Boards.

“Health Boards across Wales are working to provide treatment for those waiting for elective care and it’s important we don’t lose sight of the progress being made in these exceptionally challenging times, such as improving performance in those waiting for their first cancer treatments. Innovations and new ways of working have transformed services to enable us to provide care in new ways.

“The health and care system is currently experiencing an exceptionally challenging time and staff are continuing to go above and beyond day after day. Pre-existing challenges have been compounded by huge levels of demand across services, reduced workforce capacity, reduced capacity for planned care due to infection prevention and control measures and more people presenting at a later stage, requiring more advanced care.

“The emergency services in particular are seeing previously unheard-of levels of demand. We understand that many patients are frustrated when they can’t access the care they need straight away, but we ask them to please bear with the NHS once more whilst they navigate what are, arguably, circumstances more challenging than at the peak of the pandemic.

“We urge the public to only call 999 in emergencies and to use the NHS 111 Wales website as a first port of call in other less urgent circumstances.”