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Waiting time figures show record number of people waiting in Wales

23 Dec 2020


Referral to Treatment (RTT) waiting time statistics in Wales published today show 205,047 patients waiting more than 36 weeks for elective hospital treatment in October. This compares to 21,145 in October 2019. There are now 524,907 waiting for treatment in Wales.

Commenting on the figures, Mr Richard Johnson, Director in Wales of the Royal College of Surgeons in England said:

These figures show the devastating impact COVID has had on wider NHS services. With the number of COVID infections rising again, we are seeing planned surgery being cancelled in some parts of Wales once again. This will only add to the enormous backlog of operations.

“It is crucial we establish a clear plan for the recovery of surgery in Wales to avoid people waiting many months in pain and suffering for an operation.

“The NHS in Wales faces an incredibly challenging winter. Health Boards need to explore every option to keep surgery going, and start planning now for a longer term strategy to eliminate the backlog."



Notes to editors

  1. Under Welsh Government targets, no patient should wait longer than 36 weeks.


  2. RTT statistics for October were published at 09.30am this morning here:


  3. The stats show 205,047 patients waiting over 36 weeks for treatment in October 2020, compared to 21,145 October 2019, representing a near 10-fold increase year-on-year.


  4. The Royal College of Surgeons of England is a professional membership organisation and registered charity, which exists to advance surgical standards and improve patient care.  For more information, please contact the Press Office: Tel. 0207 869 6047/6052; email: out-of-hours media enquiries, please telephone: 0207 869 6056


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