21 September 2023
The Royal College of Emergency Medicine has warned that ‘a catastrophic winter may lie ahead’ as the latest Welsh A&E data show that extreme pressures are already being experienced.
The new data reveal that in August around one in every six patients who visited a Welsh Emergency Department waited more than 12 hours.
The Emergency Department performance statistics for August 2023, published by the Welsh government today (21 September 2023), show:
Dr Suresh Pillai, Vice President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine Wales, commented:
“Today’s data is deeply concerning. The warmer months which usually offer some respite, offered none.
“Our members are doing all they can to ensure patients receive timely care in A&Es, but it continues to be a significant challenge.
“Patients deserve better than to face these dangerously long delays to receive emergency care.
“We are anxious that winter will be a repeat, or worse, of last year, which brought queues of ambulances outside dangerously overcrowded A&Es and full hospitals.
“We urge the Welsh Government to publish a robust winter plan, this must include our Five Priorities to #ResuscicateEmergencyCare.
“A catastrophic winter may lie ahead of us; we are deeply worried about what this could bring.”
Some patients facing 12-hour waits or more continue to be excluded from the 12-hour length-of-stay data because they are classified as ‘breach exemptions’.
RCEM Wales continues to call on the Welsh government to publish fully transparent and meaningful data. No patient should be hidden, and the true scale of long waits needs to be understood to tackle the issues.
Data for hospital bed occupancy – which indicates how full hospitals are – are longer being updated, according to the Stats Wales website. The most recent data is for 12 July 2023.