Wales politics

Hospital waiting list figures in Wales rise again

Patient and nurse Image copyright Getty Images

The number of people waiting longer than nine months for hospital treatment in Wales has risen again.

Figures for August showed 28,654 people waiting longer than nine months, the target time for everyone to be treated.

Tory spokesman Darren Millar blamed "record-breaking budget cuts", while Lib Dem leader Kirsty Williams said Labour had "lost control of our NHS".

The Welsh government said the figures were "not acceptable" but said spending on health was up by 9% in two years.

Mr Millar said: "Labour ministers have starved our NHS of more than £1bn over the past five years, while spending in other parts of the UK has been protected.

"These waiting time statistics show that it's patients and their loved ones who are paying the price."

Ms Williams accused Labour of "failure" on public services and a "poverty of ambition".

"NHS staff are working around the clock to offer the very best treatment they can," she said.

"Sadly they are having to work in very trying circumstances which is making their job incredibly difficult."

Investment

A Welsh government spokesman said: "These figures are not acceptable and we expect to see urgent improvement to reduce the number of people experiencing long waiting times for the start of their treatment.

"However, they do show that more than eight out of 10 were waiting less than 26 weeks to start treatment at the end of August 2015, with nearly 94% waiting less than 36 weeks.

"The standard referral to treatment time is 11 weeks."

He added that an extra £1.1bn had been invested in the Welsh NHS in the past two years, despite cuts in funding for the overall Welsh budget by the UK government.

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