Health Minister, Vaughan Gething, has announced £50 million funding to cut waiting times for elective procedures, building on the good progress made in the last 3 years.

First published:
30 June 2019
Last updated:

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Since 2016, the Welsh Government has invested £150 million to cut some of the longest waiting times, resulting in some of the best performances in over 6 years, with 3 health boards reporting no one waiting over 36 weeks for treatment.

At the end of March 2019:

  • the number of people waiting over 26 weeks was the best position since July 2013
  • the position for those waiting over 36 week was the best since May 2013
  • the number of people waiting over 14 weeks for therapy services was 98% lower than March 2018 and the best position ever reported.

At the end of 2018-19, improvements were seen in 6 of the 7 health boards, with 3 health boards reporting no one waiting over 36 weeks at the end of March and 2 other health boards reporting a position better than their profile.

Mr Gething said:

“Over the last 3 years we have invested £150 million to significantly cut waiting times for patients waiting beyond our target. As of March this year, 3 health boards reported no one waiting over 36 weeks and overall we’ve seen the best position in some areas for 6 years.

But I want to see more improvement in all areas and the £50 million I am announcing today will support Health Boards to deliver further reduction in waiting times. The money will also help with the introduction of sustainable services, alongside our plan for health and social care, A Healthier Wales backed by £100 million which will deliver the long term changes needed to transform services.

Health boards will need to meet the targets they set out in order to receive the full funding. I expect to see significant improvements on waiting times as we have in the last 3 years.”

This year’s allocation will also include funding for projects to support improvements in emergency departments and to support people to leave hospital and avoid readmission.

These are:

  • £1 million to support delivery of Quality and Delivery Frameworks for Emergency Departments at a number of ‘early adopter’ sites
  • £750,000 to extend the Emergency Department Well-being and Home Safe and Hospital to Healthier Homes pilots
  • £3.5 million for health boards to improve the management of follow-up patients, through improved working with the Planned Care Programme team

The remainder of the funding will be allocated to individual health boards to reduce the number of long waiting patients and develop sustainable services. Health boards have targets for reducing waiting times which they will have to meet in order to receive the full allocation. The allocations are as follows:

Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB £7 million
Hywel Dda UHB £5.8 million
Cardiff and Vale UHB £6.1 million
Aneurin Bevan UHB £4 million
Swansea Bay UHB £6.5 million
Betsi Cadwaladr UHB £13.6 million
Powys THB £1.5 million