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Introduce Covid light hubs to tackle colossal backlog

20 Jan 2022

The Royal College of Surgeons of England has responded to figures, published today, showing the number of patients waiting for treatment in Wales has reached a record 682,279.

The Welsh Government data show 682,279 people were waiting for treatment in November 2021. A total of 241,667 patients have been waiting more than 9 months for treatment, which is a slight decrease - of 434 - on the previous month. In November 2020, there were 529,269 people on the waiting list and 231,022 of these had been waiting more than 9 months. The largest number of patients waiting are for trauma and orthopaedic surgery [97,422], general surgery [84,447], ENT [57,224] and urology [40,809].

Commenting on the figures, Miss Susan Hill, a consultant vascular surgeon in Cardiff and acting Director for Wales at The Royal College of Surgeons of England, said:

“Throughout the pandemic, patients in Wales have shown formidable patience and understanding as their planned operations have been either cancelled or postponed. The figures published today show the colossal scale of the backlog in Wales. It is important to remember that these huge numbers represent individual people waiting in pain and distress. 

“We need to start planning for the recovery of surgical services in Wales to reassure patients they will receive their treatment. The Welsh Government must develop, as a matter of urgency, a clear, strategic plan outlining how it will introduce the roll out of COVID-light surgical hubs across Wales”.


Notes to editors

  1. Full, historical Stats Wales Consultant-led Referral to Treatment Waiting Times can be found here.


  2. The Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCS England) is a professional membership organisation and registered charity. The College provides world-class education, assessment and development to more than 28,000 surgeons, dental professionals and members of the wider surgical and dental care teams, at all stages of their career. The College sets professional standards, facilitates research and champions the best outcomes for patients – with a vision to see excellent surgical care for everyone.


  3. For more information, please contact the RCS Eng Press Office:

Telephone: 020 7869 6052/6054


For out-of-hours media enquiries: 020 7869 6056


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