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Welsh NHS gets £45m for winter pressures

The Welsh Government has given the NHS an extra £45m to cope with pressures for the rest of this winter following surges in demand last month for hospital, out-of-hours and ambulance services.

A&E attendances in some regions in January were 23% higher than in the same month last year, frequently involving older people with acute conditions and complex needs. The number of emergency ambulances arriving at A&Es went up 22% using the same comparison.

Call numbers to NHS Direct Wales on one day over Christmas peaked at 2,300 – far higher than the typical 580 calls a day.

Health and social services minister Mark Drakeford said: ‘Much like other parts of the UK, urgent and emergency care services in Wales have experienced periods of significant pressure and demand since the start of the year.

’This extra £45 million will help our health service continue to deal with the significant increase in the pressures which it is facing and manage this surge in demand without any knock-on effects on other parts of the service.’