Wales politics

A&E waits near border are better in Wales, says Mark Drakeford

Mark Drakeford
Image caption Mark Drakeford said that 'in the round' people get a very good service in both Wales and England

Two Welsh health boards' A&E waiting times are better than in neighbouring areas across the border in England, the health minister has said.

Mark Drakeford said a bigger proportion of patients were seen within four hours at both Aneurin Bevan and Powys local health board.

However, Mr Drakeford faced criticism from MPs over A&E waits in north Wales.

The comments came in the week the prime minister renewed his attack on the performance of the Welsh NHS.

A&E pressures have also forced several English hospitals to declare "major incidents".

Giving evidence to MPs on the Commons' Welsh Affairs Committee, Mr Drakeford said two local health boards (LHBs) along the border were seeing A&E patients quicker than in Arden, Hereford, Worcester, Bath, Gloucester, Swindon, Wiltshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Cheshire, Warrington and the Wirral.

'Worst performance'

But Conservative committee member and Aberconwy MP Guto Bebb said the minister had failed to mention the Betsi Cadwaladr LHB, which is also on the border with England.

That health board had "some of the worst accident and emergency performance levels in Wales", said Mr Bebb.

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