Shock as even NHS Wales beats NHS England on emergency waiting times

A&E in crisis?

By stewartb

‘Pam Duncan-Glancy MSP claims today that only 62% of Glasgow hospital patients were seen in 4 hours, in the first half of July’ – fortunate they were not attending A&E in Wales!

Forget that last remark – it’s all too easy to get snarky nowadays when seeing what Labour politicians in Scotland spout without any sense of context or perspective! (I’ll be genuinely disappointed if Ms Duncan-Glancy becomes an adherent of the Jackie Baillie style of politics.)

There is a SERIOUS problem with resourcing the present model of publicly funded health and social care across the UK. Arguably, this is a legacy of 12 years of Tory government in Westminster, austerity and all – and yes, exacerbated by a pandemic. Arguably, this legacy only occurs due to Labour’s successive failures to win enough votes in England, even to lose so-called ‘traditional Labour voters’ to the Tories – what a dismal track record!

So for context and perspective: the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) is the go to expert organisation for BBC Scotland (see )

On 27 July 2022 the RCEM released this statement: ‘The latest Emergency Care Waiting Times Statistics for Q1 2022/23 (April 2022 – June 2022) published by the Department of Health Northern Ireland show:

In Quarter 1 (April – June) 2022: at Type 1 (Major EDs) A&E services in Northern Ireland – ‘In June 2022 ONLY 45.7% OF ATTENDANCES AT A&E services were seen and resulted in a subsequent admission, transfer or discharge within four-hours; this is the worst performance on record.’ (my emphasis)

‘Similarly, Q1 saw almost 24,000 patients spending 12-hours or more in an A&E department, this represents AN INCREASE OF 68% WHEN compared to the number of long waits during the same Quarter last year.’

On 23 June 2022 the RCEM released this statement on the Emergency Department performance figures for May 2022 published by the Welsh government show:

‘… Dr Suresh Pillai, Vice President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine Wales, said: “These figures are APPALLING, DEMORALISING AND DISTRESSING. Worst ever four-hour performance for the month of May. High levels of bed occupancy. Double the number of patients waiting over 12 hours this time last year.

“These figures cannot be met with inaction, and we are eager to work with the Health Minister to find short-term ways to remedy the situation. But long-term we must find ways to recruit more staff – we are short of at least 100 Emergency Medicine consultants in Wales – along with more beds and better social care. SHORT-TERM EFFORTS TO BOOST CAPACITY WILL ONLY GO SO FAR, and we cannot shy away from addressing these long-term problems with long term solutions.”

On 14 July the RCEM issued this statement on England’s NHS: ‘The latest Emergency Department performance figures published by NHS England for June 2022 for show:

‘22,034 PATIENTS WERE DELAYED FOR 12 HOURS OR MORE from decision to admit to admission. This is the third highest number of 12-hour waits on record. This is a 15% increase compared to the previous month, May 2022, or an increase of nearly 3,000 12-hour waits. There have now been 120,693 12-hour waits (from decision to admit to admission) so far this year

‘Four-hour performance at major Emergency Departments was 58.8%, THIS IS THE SECOND WORST FOUR-HOUR PERFORMANCE ON RECORD. More than 2 in 5 patients were delayed by four-hours or more’

The RCEM has not released a statement on the latest, July 2022 figures for NHS England (yet): they are even worse! Only 57% of patients met the 4 hour waiting time figure. And 29,317 patients had trolley waits of more than 12 hours AFTER a decision to admit them was made.

It is really quite remarkable how the ‘incompetence’ of just one devolved government and of just one health secretary – characterised as such endlessly (but not evidenced) by Labour in Scotland politicians – is having such a widespread negative impact on the NHS right across the UK, EVEN on the Labour government in Wales!


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