Posted: Thu 18th Feb 2016

Emergency departments in Wales record busiest January on record

news.wales / newyddion.cymru
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Feb 18th, 2016

Emergency departments in Wales recorded their busiest January since records began as the highest ever number of patients sought emergency help, new figures published today show. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

In a sign of just how busy this winter has been for the Welsh NHS, 2,595 people a day – an average of 108 patients an hour – attended emergency departments across Wales in January 2016. This is the highest average number of attendances for a January since records began in 2006. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The figures also show 80,438 people attended emergency departments in Wales – an increase of almost 10% compared to January 2015. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Deputy Health Minister Vaughan Gething today praised NHS Wales and social care staff for their work to manage the “huge demands” placed on services. But he acknowledged the number of patients waiting over 12 hours in emergency departments was disappointing. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The latest published figures show the average time spent in an emergency department was two hours and 10 minutes from arrival to admission to hospital or discharge – this includes assessment, any diagnostic tests, such as x-ray, and treatment. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Responding to the figures published today, Deputy Health Minister, Vaughan Gething said: ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“These statistics show January 2016 was the busiest January for Welsh emergency departments since records began 10 years ago in 2006 – the NHS in Wales saw, and managed, an average increase of 10% on attendances to emergency departments reported last year. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“On some days in January, the number of people attending emergency departments was up to 25% higher than the same time last year. Management information also shows that on some days, ambulance arrivals at Welsh hospitals were also up to 25% higher this January than the average last year. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Despite this, our NHS staff continue to manage these surges in demand – although our hospitals are very busy and there are occasionally periods of pressure.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

In response to this significant increase in demand and pressure on urgent and emergency care services, Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford last week announced an extra £45m of new investment to help health boards manage winter pressures. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Dr Andrew Goodall, chief executive of NHS Wales said: ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Emergency department staff are working hard to deliver local winter plans and ensure long waits in the department are minimised. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Long-term unscheduled care plans are in place, including the development of alternative care pathways and a focus on integration of health and social care to reduce the number of people unnecessarily attending hospital or waiting in hospital for home care to be arranged. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“This will mean fewer people unnecessarily delayed in hospital, freeing up beds and easing the pressure on our emergency departments.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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