Flintshire councillors set to discuss concerns over hospital delays
Councillors are set to discuss concerns over delays at Wrexham Maelor Hospital after new figures show it had the worst performing A&E in Wales last month.
Little over half (52.2 per cent) of patients who attended the hospital’s emergency department in December were seen within the four-hour target.
The performance is ten percentage points down on figures for the previous month.
Towards the end of last year, a group of independent councillors in Flintshire put forward a motion demanding the Welsh Government to take action amid claims patients were being put at risk.
It came after they said 12-hour waits had become the norm at the Maelor.
In the notice, Cllr Helen Brown from the Flintshire Independents group said: “We call on Welsh Government to make Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board accountable in their care of patients and staff.
“After many years in so-called special measures, the crisis with the district hospitals remains a worry.
“A twelve hour wait at Wrexham Maelor is not unusual, it’s the normal wait time.
“Staff are under growing pressure and have been heard to say they are fearful of the situation getting worse as the hospitals cannot cope with the numbers.
“We feel people may be put at risk due to lack of provision.”
The motion was submitted in October after the group’s deputy leader Carol Ellis described how her husband was forced to wait on a trolley for more than six hours at Wrexham’s A&E.
Cllr Ellis said staff deserved more support and questioned whether Flintshire should have its own district hospital.
The debate has been put back on several occasions, including because of rules restricting council activities in the build-up to the general election.
It will now be discussed at a full council meeting on Tuesday amid growing criticism of the region’s health board.
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board – which has been in special measures since June 2015 – has apologised for the long delays faced by patients in December.
In a statement, a spokesman said: “Last month we saw more seriously ill or injured people in our emergency departments than ever before.
“This put our staff and services under extreme pressure and we would like to apologise to anyone who waited longer than they should while we provided care and support for those with the greatest need.
“During December, emergency departments across the UK experienced an unprecedented increased demand and an increase in the number of patients categorised as majors.
“Our EDs across North Wales treated more than 10,000 people in this category for the first time ever.
“We continue to urge people to help us deliver the best care we can by choosing the most appropriate place to get care and support when they need it.
“For more information people can call NHS Direct Wales on 0845 46 47, visit the Choose Well website (www.choosewellwales.org.uk) or download the free Choose Well Wales app.”
Betsi Cadwaladr’s chief executive Gary Doherty has previously promised to meet with the group to discuss their concerns.
By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).
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