Accident and emergency waiting time targets missed in March

Ambulance at A&E unit Image copyright PA
Image caption A total of 2,682 patients (39.7%) had to wait over four hours at Swansea's Morriston Hospital

Waiting times at A&E units across Wales were slightly worse in March than the previous month, new figures show.

In all, 82.3% were treated, admitted or discharged in four hours. The target is 95%. The figure was 83.8% in February.

The number of people who waited more than 12 hours was up from 2,201 in February to 2,443 in March.

The Welsh government said A&E units dealt with 169 more patients a day than in February. Political opponents criticised the results.

Kirsty Williams, leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, said: "Labour in England frequently say that A&E is the 'barometer of the whole health service'. They need to come to Wales and see how their party is letting Welsh patients down."

Conservative shadow health minister Darren Millar said: "It is simply unacceptable and is a symptom of the Welsh government's failure to invest properly in the Welsh NHS."

And Plaid Cymru shadow health minister Elin Jones said: "The latest statistics demonstrate the failure of the Labour Welsh government to plan the health service to meet the needs of an aging population over the winter."

A Welsh government spokesperson said: "Delays for admission or discharge of more than 12 hours will not be tolerated.

"The Deputy Chief Medical Officer has written to all health board medical directors seeking details about what steps are being taken to minimise delays. We will continue to monitor the situation closely."

The worst performing A&E unit was Swansea's Morriston Hospital where 60.3% of patients were seen within four hours followed by 68.3% at Wrexham Maelor Hospital.

The number of people who attended accident and emergency departments in Wales last month stood at 82,052.

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