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Waiting time figures show record number of people waiting in Wales

21 Jan 2021

Referral to Treatment (RTT) waiting time statistics in Wales published today (Thursday) show almost a quarter of a million patients - 231,022 - waiting more than 36 weeks to start treatment in November 2020. This compares to 22,879 in November 2019. There are now more than half a million patients - 529,269 in total - waiting for treatment in Wales, the highest number on record.

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

“These figures are just devastating. A staggering number of patients – almost a quarter of a million - are now waiting more than 36 weeks to start treatment in Wales.

“Furthermore, there are more than half a million people on the waiting list overall. For many patients, a corrective operation is the best way to relieve debilitating pain and get people back up on their feet, back to work and enjoying life again.

“A huge waiting list has built up under the COVID-19 pandemic. Health Boards must start planning now for the recovery of surgery in Wales. We are calling on the Welsh Government to urgently implement a clear strategy to eliminate the backlog, supported by sustained investment.”  


Notes to editors

  1. Under Welsh Government targets, no patient should wait longer than 36 weeks.
  2. RTT statistics for November were published at 09.30am this morning here:
  3. The stats show 231,022 patients waiting over 36 weeks for treatment in November 2020, compared to 22,879 November 2019.
  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:  For out-of-hours media enquiries, please telephone: 0207 869 6056

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