North Wales Assembly Member Mark Isherwood is concerned that patients in Wales are facing much longer waiting times in Accident and Emergency (A&E) than their counterparts across the border in England.
Latest figures for NHS England show that the A&E target was met over the busy Christmas and New Year period - with more than 95 per cent patients seen within four hours – and that 94.3% of patients were seen within four hours during the first week of 2014, only marginally below the 95% target.
In contrast, the latest available figures for devolved NHS Wales (November 2013) revealed that just 89.6% of patients spent less than 4 hours in A&E.
The last time NHS Wales met anything like NHS England’s performance was five years ago in August 2009, when 94.5% of patients were seen with the four hours target period.
Mr Isherwood said: “The people of Wales deserve better and the health of Wales demands better. England is producing these figures weekly, yet they are not available in Wales. Only proper transparency and accountability will raise public awareness and drive the change required, but the Labour Health Minister says instead that he will review his NHS targets. Given the worsening crisis in the Welsh NHS he must be afraid of public scrutiny.”
Figures published earlier this month also revealed that the number of people waiting longer than the Welsh Government’s nine month target for hospital treatment in Wales has reached its highest level in two years, with 13,269 people waiting longer than the target at the end of November - an increase of about 1,000 on the previous month and nearly 8,000 since March 2013.
The Welsh Labour Government has a target that no one should wait for longer than 9 months to access the treatment they need.