Summer has been more challenging than any winter, say NHS leaders

Assistant director of the Welsh NHS Confederation Nesta-Lloyd Jones responds to the latest monthly NHS performance statistics in Wales.

18 August 2022

Out today (Thursday 18 August), the latest NHS Wales monthly performance statistics show: 

  • In July there were 4,130 red (life threatening) calls to the ambulance service, 10.5% of all calls, the highest for both on record. 
  • There was an average of 2,955 daily attendances to emergency departments. 
  • Just over 62,000 pathways were waiting more than two years, the third month on month reduction in a row following a consistent increase over the previous year.   

Responding to the latest NHS performance statistics in Wales, Nesta Lloyd-Jones, assistant director of the Welsh NHS Confederation, said: 

“There is no glossing over the fact that these figures paint an alarming picture of an NHS under severe strain. 

“Previously, we warned that summer was becoming as challenging as the winter months for the NHS – some NHS leaders are telling us this summer has been more challenging than any winter.  

“These figures, including the highest ever number of red (life threatening) calls to the ambulance service, which was the highest proportion of red calls on record, once again reveal an NHS that is under huge pressure. Emergency department attendances were similarly as high as the previous month, with just under 3,000 per day, on average. 

“Despite the demand across the whole health and care system, there are some small signs of improvements, including the longest waiters (those waiting over two years) decreasing for the third month in a row. This shows the unrelenting hard work and determination of staff across the NHS who put their all in, day in day out, for the people of Wales. 

“We know things will likely worsen over the winter, when we expect to see high levels of flu, norovirus and potential further Covid variants. The workforce continues to be the number one limiting factor in terms of the NHS’ capacity and ability to treat more patients. The government therefore urgently needs to provide further resources and support for local NHS services to address the considerable challenges ahead.”