Wales v England – the Waiting Game

Living in Wales and awaiting diagnosis, treatment or surgery? Reports released this week have shown that you could be waiting longer than people living in England.

The NHS Hospital Episode Statistics/Patient Episode Database for Wales have released figures showing the differences in waiting times between Wales and England.

These are just some of the differences:

  • Diagnosis of Heart disease takes on average 10 days longer in Wales and the wait for heart bypass operations is around 54 days longer than in England.
  • Hip operations showed an average 197 day wait in Wales some 122 days longer than in England
  • Diagnosis of Pneumonia takes 14 days longer in Wales
  • Patients living in Wales awaiting stomach operations are likely to wait 12 days longer.

Despite the figures Deputy Health Minister Vaughan Gething does not accept that there have been failings in the Welsh NHS but accepts that they have a lot more to do to tackle the backlogs. He also believes that the focus should not just be on waiting times but on outcomes as well whilst the Welsh NHS Confederation stress that waiting times “capture only one part of what the NHS does”.

That said most feel that it is completely unacceptable to have such a stark difference between waiting times for crucial diagnostic tests and potentially life saving surgeries, as well as the more routine procedures.

Plaid Cymru have identified the shortcomings and plan to increase capacity in the health service training and recruiting 1,000 extra doctors, establishing 3 dedicated diagnostic centres in Wales and fully integrating health and social care services.

If you have concerns arising out of delays in treatment please contact our experienced team of medical negligence lawyers on 0800 316 8892 who will be able to advise you further.