Health board postpones planned surgery due to “pressures of COVID-19 at Wrexham Maelor Hospital”
Planned surgery has been paused due to pressures of COVID-19 at the Wrexham Maelor Hospital, the health board has confirmed today.
The increasing transmission of COVID-19 in the Wrexham and Flintshire areas and the resulting number of patients being treated for COVID-19 at the hospital – currently 128 – together with winter pressures has had a significant impact on our ability to provide routine services at Wrexham Maelor Hospital.
Regrettably, the majority of planned surgery at the hospital will be postponed for an initial period of two weeks with immediate effect from today, Monday, 11 January. This action will support the expansion of respiratory and critical care capacity to treat seriously ill COVID-19 patients. It will remain under constant review to enable us to react promptly to the evolving situation.
All emergency surgery, upper gastro-intestinal surgery, endoscopy procedures and Caesarian sections will continue at Wrexham Maelor Hospital.
All patients affected will be contacted directly by the Health Board about the postponement of their procedure. If clinically appropriate, they may be offered their procedure at Ysbyty Gwynedd.
Patients who are offered the opportunity to have their procedures at Ysbyty Gwynedd will be prioritised based on clinical need, regardless of where in north Wales they live.
Urgent outpatient appointments only will continue at Wrexham Maelor Hospital for the present time. Face-to-face routine appointments will be postponed and will take place either via a virtual or telephone consultation.
Planned surgery at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd in Bodelwyddan and Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor will continue, although with the rising COVID-19 incidence, this is also under constant review by the Health Board.
Due to the pressures of COVID-19, planned Orthopaedic surgery will be paused across North Wales from Monday, 18 January. Trauma surgery will continue as normal across all three hospital sites.
Other Health Boards have already taken similar action, which is in line with nationally accepted methods to risk assess patients.
Professor Arpan Guha, Acting Executive Medical Director at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said: “There are many patients expecting to undergo an operation in Wrexham over the coming weeks and we recognise how anxious and worried they will already be about having surgery during the current surge of the pandemic.
“We are sorry for any further distress or inconvenience this decision may cause and would like to reassure those affected that we are doing all we can to prioritise patients in the most urgent need of care.
“Our priority is to provide the safest possible environment for surgical patients. This clinically led decision has been made after reviewing predicted demand on our services from both COVID-19 and winter pressures.
“Our staff are doing all they can to provide the best care for all patients while dealing with the challenges caused by the absences of colleagues due to COVID-19 infection, isolating and shielding.”
The specialties affected by these changes are:
- General surgery
- Ear Nose and Throat (ENT)
Advice to patients due to undergo surgery at Wrexham Maelor Hospital during the next two weeks
- You will be contacted by hospital staff by phone about your appointment. Please do not contact the hospital switchboard.
- If you do not hear from the hospital, please attend your appointment as arranged.
- If you have any questions or need further information about an appointment or operation, please use the contact information provided on any correspondence received, for example a patient letter.
- If you are seriously unwell and cannot wait to be seen, our advice remains to please seek help by dialling 999 or attending the Emergency Department.
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