ACCIDENT and emergency departments at Nevill Hall and the Royal Gwent Hospital have seen a combined 6.5 per cent increase in patients during January-May this year, compared to the same period in 2018.

Each of those months this year has seen a larger number of attendances than last year.

And though performance against the four-hour waiting time target improved during the winter period this year, it dipped during April and May, compared to those two months in 2018.

Attendance has increased too, as winter has given way to spring and last month saw 11,381 patients at the Royal Gwent and Nevill Hall units, the highest monthly figure of the 2019.

The proportion of more complex cases - comprising patients who are generally older and presenting with a range of chronic conditions that can make treatment more complicated - also continues to rise.

In all, 54,163 patients attended the two hospitals' A&E departments during January-May this year, 3,307 more than during the same five months last year.


Performance against the four-hour waiting time target - a minimum 95 per cent of patients attending A&E should be dealt with inside four hours - remains way off across Wales.

At the Royal Gwent in last month, 67 per cent of patients were dealt with inside four hours, against 70.4 per cent in May 2018. And at Nevill Hall last month, the figure was 80.3 per cent, against 81.8 per cent 12 months earlier.

Wales-wide, Nevill Hall's May A&E performance was the fourth best of 13 A&E units, and the Royal Gwent's was ninth.

Waits of more than 12 hours in A&E remain a major headache across Wales too, and in May, 648 patients waited longer than that to be dealt with Gwent units.

This was more than 100 fewer than during April (751), but was much higher than the 331 recorded for May last year.