Impact of the waiting times backlog on people in Wales who are waiting for diagnosis or treatment

Inquiry4

 

The waiting lists for diagnostic and therapy appointments and surgical treatment in Wales have significantly increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

On 7 April 2022, the Health and Social Care Committee published Waiting well? The impact of the waiting times backlog on people in Wales which includes recommendations to the Welsh Government on tackling the waiting times backlog and supporting people who are waiting for diagnosis or treatment. The Welsh Government responded on 30 May 2022. The Senedd debated the Committee’s report and the Welsh Government’s response on 29 June 2022.

 

On 26 April 2022, the Welsh Government published a plan for transforming and modernising planned care and reducing waiting lists.  On 29 April 2022, the Committee wrote to health and social care stakeholders to ask them for their views on the Welsh Government’s plan. On 29 June 2022, the Committee held an informal private in-person stakeholder event to discuss the Welsh Government’s plan, and its response to the Committee’s report.

 

 

Information about the Committee’s inquiry

 

The Committee’s inquiry considered, in particular:

  • The services in place for people who are waiting for diagnostics and treatment, particularly pain management support.
  • Access to psychological therapies and emotional support for those who may be experiencing anxiety or distress as a result of long waiting times.
  • The contribution the third sector can make in providing peer support and information to patients waiting on an NHS waiting list.
  • The effectiveness of messaging and engagement with the public about the demands on the service and the importance of seeking care promptly.
  • The extent to which inequalities exist in the elective backlog, with deprived areas facing disproportionately large waiting lists per head of population compared to least deprived areas.
  • Plans to fully restore planned NHS care in Wales.



To explore these issues, the Committee:

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>>>Issued a written call for evidence between 19 November 2021 and 13 January 2022. We received 44 responses.

>>>Held oral evidence sessions with key stakeholders on 18 November 2021, 2 December 2021 and 13 January 2022

>>>Held an oral evidence session with the Minister for Health and Social Services on 10 February 2022, the Committee concluded its oral evidence sessions with the Minister for Health and Social Services.

>>>Conducted a series of interviews and focus groups with people in Wales who are waiting for diagnosis or treatment.  You can find more information about how the Senedd’s Citizen Engagement Team conducted this work on the Senedd’s blog.

>>>Published a report and accompanying media release on 7 April 2022.

>>>Wrote to health and social care stakeholders on 29 April 2022 to seek their views on the Welsh Government’s plan for transforming and modernising planned care and reducing waiting lists.

>>>Held an informal private in-person stakeholder session on 29 June 2022 regarding the Welsh Government's plan for transforming and modernising planned care and reducing waiting lists.

>>>Held a plenary debate on its report on 29 June 2022.

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Business type: Committee Inquiry

Reason considered: Senedd Business;

First published: 05/11/2021

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