Senedd Member Paul Davies has called for urgent action over alarming statistics showing how long people are waiting for ophthalmology appointments.

The report show that less than half of patients waiting for eye care treatment have actually been seen within the target date or within 25 per cent beyond their target date for an outpatient appointment.

The latest statistics from the Welsh Government show that fewer than half of patients in the Hywel Dda University Health Board area have been assessed, despite those patients being at risk of irreversible harm.

Graph showing Patients in Wales waiting for an ophthalmology outpatient appointment
Patients waiting for an ophthalmology outpatient appointment (

Mr Davies said:

“It’s very worrying to read that less than half of all patients with an urgent eye problem are being seen in an appropriate time. These patients are often living in discomfort and pain and the longer they wait for treatment, the more they risk irreversible harm or blindness.”

“These statistics should be a wake up call for Hywel Dda University Health Board who must prioritise this as a matter or urgency. It is not acceptable for patients to be waiting this long for treatment and action must be taken immediately before it’s too late.

“Efforts must be redoubled to recruit ophthalmologists and the Welsh Government need to do more to support the Health Board to improve access to services and ensure the Health Board has the staff and resources required to bring down these waiting lists.”