12 and 24 hour A and E waits revealed
More than ten thousand people spent over 12 hours in accident and emergency departments last year, and over 700 spent more than 24 hours there.
The figures have been released to the Welsh Conservatives via the Freedom of Information Act. The Welsh Government does not make these statistics publicly available and the group has today called for this to be changed.
During 2011, a total of 10,228 people spent over 12 hours in A and E across Wales.
710 spent more than 24 hours there.
Similarly, in 2010, 10,452 patients were in A and E for over 12 hours.
759 of those spent more than 24 hours there.
One health board – Aneurin Bevan - saw the number of patients waiting over 12 hours increase from just 141 in 2007 to 3057 in 2011. This was the highest figure last year.
Betsi Cadwaladr UHB – which also provided figures dating back to 2007 - saw a significant rise in waits last year. While 542 people remained in A and E for over 12 hours in 2010/11, this figure stood at 1603 in 2011/12.
In 2007/08, just 163 people spent more than 12 hours in A and E in north Wales.
Performance across other health boards varied considerably.
Only figures relating to the four and eight hour A and E targets are currently published regularly.
Government statistics released this morning show that both these targets have been missed again. The last time 95 per cent of patients were seen within four hours at emergency care facilities – across Wales - was in August 2009.
Welsh Conservatives have today called for additional figures on 12 and 24 hour waits to be published alongside these stats on a monthly basis, making them easier for public consumption and increasing transparency.
Shadow Minister for Health Darren Millar AM said:
"It is completely unacceptable for any patient to spend this long in A and E.
"The Minister’s record-breaking cuts to the health budget are putting immense strain on health board resources and biting hard on the frontline.
"The negative consequences on patients are vast and I fear bed shortages are playing a large part in the problem of A and E waits.
"With planned cuts in the number of 24/7 A and E departments in the future – personally endorsed by the First Minister – this bleak situation is only set to get worse.
"This is the first time we have seen the true scale of waiting times over 12 hours and figures differ wildly from area to area.
"Lessons must be learned and – where necessary – urgent improvements made with the support of the Minister and her government."
Leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the Assembly, Andrew RT Davies AM, said:
"The First Minister should make arrangements for these statistics to be published on a monthly basis – alongside figures on four and eight hour waits.
"It is difficult to imagine anyone spending more than 12 or 24 hours in A and E, let alone the elderly and vulnerable.
"These shocking new figures paint a very disturbing picture and need urgent ministerial attention.
"There are vast differences and significant increases that are a cause for great concern. We must be able to monitor improvements publicly."
Powys Health Board is not home to an accident and emergency department.
To note – some data responses have been provided in calendar years and others in financial years.