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A&E delays persist in Wales as one in eight patients faced a 12-hour wait in June

20 July 2023

The Royal College of Emergency Medicine has responded to June 2023’s Emergency Department performance figures for Wales.

Commenting on these data Dr Suresh Pillai, Vice President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine Wales, said:

“At this time of year, we would expect to see an easing of pressures on the Emergency Care system. However, large numbers of patients still faced long-waits in Welsh Emergency Departments in June.

“Additionally, the data for Wales does not paint a full picture. Some patients continue to be classified as ‘breach exemptions’, experiencing waits of 12-hours or more but excluded from the data due to clinical and operational processes.

“We urge the Welsh government to ensure data are transparent and meaningful so that no patient is hidden. To tackle the delays in Emergency Care, we must see the true scale of dangerously long delays and abolish these 12-hour ‘breach exemptions’.

“Bed occupancy continues to be dangerously high, leading to exit block – where patients are unable to be moved through the system.

“There must be renewed efforts around timely hospital discharges to free up beds, improve flow throughout hospitals and reduce dangerous overcrowding and delays in Emergency Departments.

“We urge the Welsh Government to adopt our Five Priorities to #ResuscicateEmergencyCare.”


Notes to editor

You can see more data, visualisations and graphs on our website here:

The latest Emergency Department performance figures for June 2023 published by the Welsh government show:

  • There were 98,340 total attendances at all Emergency Care facilities, including minor injury units).
  • There were 68,330 attendances to major Emergency Departments, 3% less than the previous month (70,310) and 5.5% more than in June 2022 (64,744).
  • Overall, 62.5% of patients in major Emergency Departments were admitted, transferred, or discharged within four-hours from arrival.
    • This is a 0.5 percentage-point increase on last month. And a 6.1 percentage-point increase on June 2022.
  • 20% of major Emergency Department attendances waited more than eight-hours (15,269 patients)
    • This means that one in five patients were delayed eight-hours or more at a major Emergency Department.
  • 3% of major Emergency Department attendances waited more than 12-hours (8,433 patients).
    • This means more than one in eight patients were delayed by 12-hours or more.
  • There was a daily average of 6,444 general and acute beds in service, 10 less than the previous month.
  • Average monthly bed occupancy was 94%. 9% above the recommended safe level of 85%.
  • When we compare with the same month last year, there has been an average decrease of 13 general and acute beds in service. By comparison there has been an increase of 15 general and acute beds occupied.
    • This demonstrates that the number of beds in service is not keeping up with patient needs.

RCEM Wales: Emergency Medicine Workforce Census 2023

RCEM: Five priorities for UK Governments to #ResuscitateEmergencyCare

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