The NHS in Wales will receive an extra £45m of new investment to help it respond to winter pressures, the Welsh Labour Government has announced.
The money for this financial year will come from Welsh Government reserves and will help health boards across Wales treat and care for the increase in people using services at this time of year. During the first week of January alone, the health service experienced a significant surge in demand for urgent and emergency care services above and beyond that experienced in the same period of 2015.
Thanks to investment by the Welsh Labour Government, funding in the Welsh NHS is now at record levels, with £6.7bn being spent on health and social services this year, growing to £7bn the next financial year.
The Welsh Ambulance Service has also experienced a sharp rise in the most critically-ill patients using its services; hospital emergency departments across Wales have reported an increase in admissions of patients, particularly older people, with acute conditions and complex needs and out-of-hour services have experienced extremely busy evenings and weekends since the start of the year.
The latest information shows that:
- There has been an increase in emergency ambulances arriving at A&E departments since the turn of the year - at their peak, they were 22% higher than the January 2015 average.
- A&E attendances have been up to 23% higher than the January 2015 average.
- Calls to NHS Direct Wales peaked at 2,300 on one day over the Christmas period. The service typically answers around 580 calls per day.