The Welsh Government has issued a statement on the latest NHS Wales performance data published today.

A Welsh Government spokesperson said:

Our health services continue to recover from the effects of the pandemic. We have seen more people coming forward with health concerns but the reduction in working day due to the Easter holidays will have impacted scheduled care capacity. April saw fewer referrals for first outpatient appointments compared to the previous month.

The number of patient pathways waiting for treatment slightly increased in April by 0.8% (707,099) compared to the previous month. But the number of pathways waiting over two years decreased by 3.4% compared to March 2022. This is the first decrease since the start of pandemic.

In April the number of patient pathways waiting longer than the target time of 14 weeks for therapies decreased by 10.5% compared to March 2022 and is the first monthly decrease since May 2021.

The number of patient pathways waiting for diagnostics increased by 0.3% compared the previous month with pathways waiting eight weeks for diagnostic tests also increasing by 8%. However, this is a 28% decrease compared to the high of May 2020.

In April fewer people started their first definitive cancer treatment within 62 days of cancer first being suspected, compared to March. 10,539 pathways suspected of having cancer were informed they did not have cancer; this is also a decrease compared to the previous month.

999 emergency ambulance and emergency department staff and services remain under considerable pressure because of capacity challenges across the health and social care system. This has been accentuated recently by higher than anticipated levels of sickness absence.

There were small improvements across urgent and emergency care thanks to the hard work and commitment of staff. There were improvements in ambulance responsiveness and Emergency Department performance in May when compared to April and the majority of patients continue to receive safe and timely care.

However, we remain concerned about the levels of delay experienced by patients on occasion and are working with all stakeholders through national programmes to support improvement.

It is important to note that during April 2022 over 300,000 patient consultations were undertaken by the NHS in Wales.