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Referral to treatment times

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  • Release date: 20 December 2018
  • Period covered: October 2018
  • Next update: 24 January 2019
Data showing information on the number of patients treated within 26 weeks of the date a referral letter was received in the hospital.

October 2018

Release date: 20 December 2018

Data has been published on StatsWales.


Release date: 26 July 2018


  • In 2017-18 there were 1,107,534 closed pathways, up 3.2 per cent compared to 2016-17 and up 8.8 per cent compared to 5 years ago (2012-13).
  • Aneurin Bevan closed the most pathways this year, accounting for 19.1 per cent (211,243 closed pathways) and general surgery was the speciality with the most closed pathways, making up 12.8 per cent (141,692 closed pathways) of all pathways closed in Wales.


26 Week Target
  • Performance over 2017-18 was broadly the same when compared to 2016-17, but was higher than 2015-16 performance. Performance in the 3 most recent years are much lower than in 2012-13, which was the highest performing year.
  • Of the five treatment functions with the most pathways waiting, Dermatology had the best end of year performance with 88.6 per cent of patients being seen within 26 weeks.  Trauma and Orthopaedics had the worst performance with 73.1 per cent of patients waiting less than 26 weeks.
36 week target
  • Three of the health boards reduced their waits over 36 considerably over the year, Hywel Dda went from 2,965 waits to 1,494 (49.6 per cent reduction), Cardiff and Vale reduced their over 36 week waits from 2,754 to 783 (71.6 per cent reduction) and Cwm Taf went from 376 (please note: this is May’s figure as April contained estimates) to only 4 (98.9 per cent reduction) from the start to end of 2017-18.


  • In 2017-18, the median waiting times for referral to treatment were longer in each month compared to 2016-17 with the exception of February. 
  • All health boards had their shortest median wait in March 2018 with the exception of two, Powys Teaching health board (January 2018) and Cwm Taf University local health board (February 2018). 

Further information

Monthly data are published on StatsWales and a report is published annually. This data is summarised in the monthly report ‘NHS activity and performance summary’ which includes data on a range of services and includes an online data tool.


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