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Have you had to wait too long to see a doctor?

Hundreds queued for up to five hours yesterday just to register with an NHS dentist in North Wales. How do people in Cardiff feel about NHS waiting times?

CL Society 287: Waiting for a doctor by Francisco Osorio

NHS waiting lists reached a record high this year, with The Guardian and The Daily Mail both reporting that waiting times for routine treatments are at the longest they’ve been in over a decade.

Here in Wales, the squeeze on NHS resources has been felt acutely by the people of Llangollen, who have been left without a dental practice since theirs was closed in January. The Daily Post reported on the chaotic scenes of queues as many people, including the elderly, stood for hours to register at the new surgery that opened yesterday.

How do these NHS delays effect the people of Cardiff? Have they had to wait too long? We took to the streets to find out.

Dayola, 26, Yoga Teacher

“I got these shoes from the NHS… It’s not so often that I have to go, and I have been put on a waiting like list for my shoes, and that took some time, and that was an inconvenience because I can’t walk without these shoes. It could always be more efficient, more accommodating.”

Peter, 21, Assistant Manager

“I remember my nan, when she suffered with cancer and she had a couple of falls, and there’d be times when she’d be waiting, and she’d be waiting five or six hours just to be seen… Not treated badly, but it wasn’t an easy situation for her… I definitely think things should be improved.”

Will, 60, Retired

“My waiting time to see a doctor is usually immediate. So, I don’t have a problem, so I’ll ring up in the morning and they’ll ask if it’s an emergency, and if it’s not probably two o’clock… We live rurally, and it’s not that crowded really… However, my daughter has come to live near us, and they can’t find access to dentists, it’s all private.”

Kasia, 36, Accommodation Manager

“At the moment my partner is waiting for an MRI scan on his knee, and it has been rescheduled about four or five times. He’s obviously got a problem, and every time he goes there, it’s like sorry something has come up we can’t do your MRI scan today.”

Denise, 62, Care Assistant

“The situation should definitely be improved for mental health. I’ve got a mentally ill grandson, who’s 19 and suffering, and the whole family are suffering… He had a two-year waiting list for an appointment. I’ve been in touch with the local counsellor… the GP again this morning and the crisis team, and they can’t admit him… unless he’s harming himself they can’t do anything.”

Feature image CL Society 287: Waiting for a doctor by Francisco Osorio. Cropped and scaled for purpose.CC by 2.0