£5m funding to speed up access to treatment in Wales

New funding of more than £5m to reduce NHS waiting times has been announced by Health Minister Mark Drakeford.

The funding will go towards cutting waits for diagnostic tests. Faster access to these tests is important as it means patients can start their treatment more quickly.

Health boards will be expected to work together to address waiting times, for example by using some of the £4m funding to provide mobile scanners on a regional basis.

An additional £1m is being invested in new equipment, including a CT scanner and ultrasound machines.

Health Minister Mark Drakeford said: “Despite the pressures on the NHS, access to diagnostic tests is improving.

“However, I accept waits are still too long in some cases, which is why I’m announcing this new funding which will help the NHS reduce waiting times for those particular scans and tests where there are particular challenges.

“Speeding up access to these tests will mean that patients get the results faster, and can start their full treatment sooner, meaning overall waiting times should reduce.”

Finance Minister Jane Hutt said: “We have been clear that providing a safe and sustainable Welsh NHS is a priority for this Government. We are providing these additional resources to ensure that patients receive the treatments they need within the target times that have been set. This is the action of a responsible Government which puts investment in Health at the forefront of its priorities.”

The Health Minister has also approved a number of capital funding projects to provide additional or replacement diagnostic equipment to enable, including £102,000 for two bronchoscopes and a voice stroboscope for Aneurin Bevan Health Board, and £780,000 for a new CT scanner and £300,000 for three new ultrasound machines in Cwm Taf University Health Board.