The number of Welsh patients waiting for hospital admission rose again last month, to 68,998, a 2 per cent increase on July. The number waiting for more than 12 months rose 4.5 per cent to 8,035, and the number waiting more than 18 months rose 7.2 per cent to 2,966. But the number of people waiting for a first outpatient appointment dropped 0.2 per cent to 151,612. Welsh health minister Susan Deacon told the Welsh Assembly last week: 'We are making progress with managing the financial recovery.' The forecast income and expenditure deficit for NHS Wales as a whole has reduced to£22m, but only£17.3m is available for brokerage this year. 'It is therefore essential that further progress is made to reduce the forecast in-year deficits to affordable levels,' Ms Deacon said.