"The 95 per cent target for patients spending less than 4 hours and the 99 per cent target for spending less than 8 hours were not met in any of the last 13 months."There were a total of 81,761 attendances at "All Hospital Emergency Care Facilities" in Wales in April 2013, an increase of 11% or 8051 patients on the numbers in January 2013.
The percentage of those who had to wait longer than 4 hours from arrival to 'admission, transfer or discharge' was 14.1% or 11,528 patients, a total of 4,500 patients or 5.5% had to wait longer than 8 hours.
In North Wales the pattern is similar with a higher proportions of patients having to wait longer than 4 and 8 hours in April 2013 than in January 2013. There were 18,249 attendances at all Betsi Cadwaladr UHB Emergency Care Facilities in April which is up 13.8% on the January 2013 number. 14.3% or 2627 patients had to wait longer than 4 hours in April 2013 whilst 4.8% or 876 patients had to wait longer than 8 hours.
The respective proportions in January 2013 were 11.4 and 3.6%.
We need research into these figures to determine causes of increases in attendance, is it because of seasonal and environmental causes or are there infrastructural causes like the reduction in acute beds in DGH's, closure of small hospitals causing bed blocking or the unavailability of appointments with GP's?
It would also be useful to ascertain the final destination of the 4,500 who had to wait longer than 8 hours; was it admission, transfer or discharge?
Plenty of questions here for Mark Drakeford, lets hope he has the answers!