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Welsh Royal College of Nursing Secretary Liz Hewitt
"Doctors and nurses should have a much greater say not only in the planning but in the operation of health care"
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BBC Wales's Louise Elliott
"Doctors and nurses are saying they are working overtime just to stand still"
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Wednesday, 23 February, 2000, 14:28 GMT
Patient waiting lists rise in Wales

University of Wales Hospital
Patient waiting lists in Wales grew during January

The number of people awaiting treatment in Welsh hospitals rose by 2,700 during January 's flu crisis, according to figures released by the National Assembly.

The figures for January were 9.5% up on the same time last year.

The statistics also show that more than 10,000 people have been waiting for more than a year for treatment.

The worst-affected areas were in Iechyd Morgannwg and Gwent health authority areas.

Those waiting for their first appointment in north Wales rose by more than 1,300 in January.

hospital doctors Task force: Problems will be identified
Across Wales, there are still 20,000 more patients on outpatient lists than in January 1999.

The statistics may reflect a backlog of cancelled operations and the issue is likely to be a priority one for the Emergency Pressures Task Force, which met for the first time last week.

Some hospitals experienced emergency bed shortages during the flu outbreak and this led to calls for preventative measures to support the NHS.

Chaired by Assembly Health Secretary Jane Hutt, the task force includes representatives from all key organisations in the NHS and local government.

It will review the causes of the pressures experienced over the winter period and the response of the NHS and other related organisations and will identify examples of good practice within Wales and elsewhere.

'Sharp end'

The task force is expected to report back on the latest figures on 29 March and is expected to produce an initial report back this summer.

Ms Hutt said: "The task force demonstrates both my determination and the determination of those at the sharp end to ensure that lessons are learned from our experiences this winter.

"We will need to capture and communicate existing good practice, identify areas of weakness and make proposals for improvements in time for next winter.

"This task force will be bringing in independent advice where appropriate in order to ensure that all views are heard."

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See also:
 |  Wales
London hospital helps cut Welsh waiting list
14 Jul 99 |  Wales
Wales faces mounting heart operation lists

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