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Statement on the Welsh Government’s ‘Planned Care Recovery Plan’

26 Apr 2022

Commenting on the publication of the Welsh Government’s ‘Planned Care Recovery Plan’, Professor Jon Barry,  (Interim) Director for Wales at The Royal College of Surgeons of England, said:

“We welcome the publication of the Welsh Government’s Planned Care Recovery Plan. With waiting times in Wales still rising, a clear strategy on tackling the backlog is long overdue. Almost 700,000 people are waiting to start treatment across Wales, and long waits for operations can be particularly devastating for patients.

“Surgeons have been working hard to get elective services back up and running, but COVID -19 is still disrupting our efforts. The recovery is also hindered by staff vacancies, and a lack of dedicated facilities for planned surgery. 

“The Plan shows that the Government agrees with the approach we recommended, of separating planned care from emergency admissions. This will help hospitals to keep planned surgery going, even if there are further outbreaks of the virus. We also welcome the additional funding made available for planned care, and the encouragement of more regional working, to reduce variation in access across Wales. 

“The targets set by the Plan are important, so we are calling for an annual report to the Senedd to track progress.  However, we have concerns that some targets only relate to some specialties, potentially leaving other patients without a clear idea of when they can expect to be treated.  Also, we know our workforce is over-stretched, and we need solutions to the long-standing issue of staff vacancies.  Delivering on the targets in the Plan must not come at the expense of staff welfare.” 

Notes to editors

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.

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