Waiting times rise14th November 2011
Lesley Griffiths, Health Minister for Wales, has told health service managers they need to meet waiting time targets or suffer the consequences.
Ms Griffiths told the yearly Welsh NHS Confederation conference that managers needed to tackle performance and finance targets.
The results of a poll for NHS health boards showed that 61% of patients said they would not mind travelling further afield in order to receive specialist care.
However the majority said they would not want to see services concentrated in a small number of larger hospitals.
Ms Griffiths said last week that they were going to carry out a large-scale transformation of services in the NHS in Wales.
She said no district hospitals would be shut down but did say patients might have to travel further to get the best treatment.
Official data showed that waiting times had increased during the year. At the end of September, 33,312 people were on a waiting list for longer than the target time of 26 weeks.
The health service carried out treatment on 82,386 patients during September, of which 84% were seen within 26 weeks and 97% within 36 weeks of hospital referral by their GPs.
Mrs Griffiths told the conference that the Confederation "must achieve the targets which have been set for this year, for both service and financial performance in order for there to be a solid basis on which to move forward over the coming years".
"Let there be no doubt in your mind - you must come in on the financial targets which have been set. There is no margin for error here."
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Title: Waiting times rise
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 20328
Date Added: 14th Nov 2011