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More people waiting over a year for surgery in Wales

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How can hospital beds for planned surgery be better protected?

Figures published by the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) show a 400% rise over the past four years in the number of people waiting more than a year for surgery in Wales.

In March 2013, 699 people were waiting more than a year for operations. In March 2017, the figure was 3,605.

The sharpest rise in numbers was in Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB), from none in 2013 to 1,202 in 2017. In Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board (ABMU) the number rose from 49 to 1,271.

In Cardiff and Vale the numbers dropped from 635 in 2013 to 226 in 2017.

The number of people waiting more than a year for trauma and orthopaedics surgery saw a significant rise from 39 patients to 2,489 in the same period.

There was also a rise in numbers waiting for general surgery, maxillo facial and urology.

RCS regional director for Wales and consultant general surgeon Tim Havard said long waits for surgery can be traumatising for patients and their families.

He claimed hospital wards were filled with people who should be treated in the community and called for better protection of beds for planned surgery. He also called for improvements to the availability of community beds, primary care and caring for people in their own homes.

Further information

Royal College of Surgeons: Wales sees over 400% increase in patients waiting more than a year for surgery