Wales politics

Health targets attack by Welsh Tories on Labour ministers

Ambulances queue outside Wrexham Maelor hospital
Image caption Ambulances missed national response time targets for life-threatening calls in every local authority area

Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies has accused First Minister Carwyn Jones of two years of NHS failure after key targets were missed.

Mr Davies criticised targets missed recently on access to cancer treatment, waits at accident and emergency (A&E) units, and ambulance response times.

Mr Jones said the health minister was considering how to improve the figures despite UK government cuts.

He said a Welsh government progress report would be published soon.

During the first ministers' weekly question session with AMs, Mr Davies said: "All the key targets that were released last week - in cancer treatment, A&E and ambulance - were missed, and missed by a country mile, I might add.

"If you take cancer access, that hasn't been hit once since 2008, and if you take access to A&E within the four hours, that hasn't been hit since 2009.

"We're now coming up to your second anniversary in government ... you outlined that the fourth assembly term, and your government in particular, would be about delivery.

"Yet, on these key indictors, your own indicators - government indicators - you are not meeting those targets.

"Does that mean that the first two years have been a failure in delivery on behalf of your government?"

'Progress'

Mr Jones said the targets "speak for themselves" but "there have been financial pressures that have been imposed on the Welsh government by UK government".

"As a result," he said, "there have been difficulties in delivering to the level that we would want.

"Nevertheless the health minister is carefully examining the current health budget to see what can be done to improve the figures."

Mr Davies said Mr Jones had "on fourteen occasions ... constantly referred to the UK government as being an excuse for failure to deliver".

Mr Jones observed that the prime minister and Welsh secretary David Jones had "spent a lot of their time criticising the Welsh government" at last weekend's Welsh Conservative conference in Swansea.

"Equally, they're going to get it back as well, in terms of what the UK government has done," he insisted.

"We asked people to judge us on our programme for government, that will be published over the course of the next few weeks and then we will see the progress that's been made across the board," Mr Jones added.

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