Following the publication of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health Wales’ Worried and Waiting Report - local Senedd Members, Samuel Kurtz and Paul Davies have expressed their concern over the length of time children are waiting to receive treatment in the Hywel Dda University Health Board area.

Figures published in the report show that between November 2022 and November 2023 the number of children waiting on the paediatric pathway increased from 1,299 to 1,526, an increase of 17%, in comparison to a 4.5% decrease nationally in Wales over the same period.

The same report showed that over 595 of under 18s are waiting over a year for treatment, and 66 waiting more than 2 years. Outpatient figures are no better with an increase from 183 in June 2023 to 335 in January 2024 waiting more than twelve months.

Samuel Kurtz MS and Paul Davies MS
Samuel Kurtz MS and Paul Davies MS share concerns over paediatric waiting times in the Hywel Dda health board area. (Pic supplied)

Commenting, Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire Senedd Member, Samuel Kurtz said: “These figures are really concerning, especially as they appear to be moving in the opposite direction to an improving national trend.

“Hywel Dda University Health Board need to get to grips with the situation as a matter of urgency before long term damage is done to children’s health in West Wales.

“It is not right that some of the most vulnerable in our society are not getting the health care that they need. I will be raising this with the Health Board to establish what changes are possible to turn this situation around.”

Preseli Pembrokeshire Senedd Member, Paul Davies added: “I was shocked to learn about the lengthy waits that were being experienced by under 18s to access health care in our local hospitals. Behind those figures are children, who desperately need support and treatment.

“It’s distressing for anyone to experience a wait of over two years, let alone children and so efforts must be made now to reduce waiting times. I’m grateful that the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health Wales has brought this issue to our attention, and both Samuel and I will challenge the Welsh Government on these deeply disappointing figures.