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26th March 2014

Health Minister announces change in A&E and ambulance targets to be trialled

The way in which the performance of A&E and ambulance services are monitored and measured is to be overhauled, the Health Minister Mark Drakeford announced today (March 26). The new system of monitoring will begin in April.

The Welsh Government says that current monitoring is too narrow and does not give an indication of quality - and that faster responses to more urgent calls and care needs are overshadowed by the emphasis on response times.

'Patient-focused' health targets on the agenda

New indicators for the ambulance service and A&E will focus on three key treatment areas - care for people who have had heart attacks, strokes or fractured hips.

They are likely to involve an assessment of how successful ambulance crews are at detecting these conditions early and therefore diverting these patients away from A&E and into the appropriate departments or surgery - resulting in more effective treatment and also reducing pressures on A&E departments.

However the old system of targets is not to be scrapped while new criteria are trialled.

Health Minister Mark Drakeford said: "I want us to judge the success of our services by measuring things which make a difference to patients and the effectiveness of the treatment they receive.
"It's about giving patients the right care, at the right place, at the right time," added Mr Drakeford, speaking on BBC Radio Wales.


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