Covid: NHS Wales under 'substantial pressure' amid backlog 

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The Welsh NHS is under "substantial pressure" as services return to pre-pandemic levels, its chief executive has warned.

Dr Andrew Goodall said the need to continue with Covid-19 precautions meant a "difficult combination" of factors was straining the system.Monthly waiting times show another rise, amid a growing backlog of patients waiting for treatment.

One doctors' group has called for a radical reorganisation of services.
Data from April showed there were 595,272 people on waiting lists in Wales - this has risen again on March and is up 29% on pre-pandemic levels.

Health Minister Eluned Morgan said it was a "massive uphill task" to clear the backlog and did not rule out establishing regional hubs.
"We've made it very clear it probably will take the whole length of this Senedd term [five years] to get us back to pre pandemic levels," she told Radio Wales.

"We had to pause non-emergency care, that has created a massive challenge for us, but we've already put £100m on the table to get our health boards to shift some of that [backlog]."

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How many people are waiting?
We can see in April, 223,365 people were waiting more than 36 weeks or nine months for hospital treatment.
When we look at specialist areas, in trauma and orthopaedics there were 52,822 people waiting more than nine months. This is a 527% increase on the pre-pandemic total in February 2020.

Altogether, there are 87,918 orthopaedic and trauma patients waiting for treatment.

Graphic showing stats
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Those waiting the longest for general surgery have also hit a new high - 26,943, 12 times the numbers waiting before the pandemic.
In February 2020, 252 people had been waiting more than nine months for cardiology treatment, and by April this year there were 4,159 people with long waits. The number on that list has risen slightly after falling for four successive months.

Numbers waiting the longest for cardiothoracic surgery are still falling although there are still 136 patients - three times the numbers before the pandemic hit.
While two people were waiting more than nine months before the pandemic in February 2020 for restorative dental work, that has now increased to 625, although has fallen for the fifth successive month

For neurology treatments, numbers rose from 22 to 906 from pre-pandemic to April.
  Thursday, July 22, 2021 at 5:43:25 AM
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  Friday, March 25, 2022 at 11:29:44 AM

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