North Wales A&E departments under extreme pressure as ambulances queue outside hospitals
Hospital emergency department in north Wales are under severe pressure.
High levels of demand have seen ambulances used to ‘hold’ patients in while they wait for treatment in an A&E departments.
Queuing ambulances have been seen outside Wrexham Maelor Hospital, as they have at both Glan Clwyd and Ysbyty Gwynedd.
Nursing staff are being brought in from annual leave and extra beds are being made available while the increase in the numbers of people using A&E continues.
On Monday 12 emergency ambulances were seen queuing outside Wrexham Maelor hospital
Nigel Lee, Director of Secondary Care at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, said;
“The major hospitals in North Wales are currently facing extremely high levels of demand, with a higher number of admissions than usual, including frail and seriously ill patients.
“This is resulting in pressure on beds and consequent delays in admitting patients, which in turn is leading to significant delays in our Emergency Departments and patients having to be held in ambulances and in the Emergency Departments.
“In response we have opened additional beds at all our acute hospitals, but the number of extra beds that we can open is limited by the number of nursing staff that are available to safely cover these extra spaces.
“We are very grateful to nursing colleagues who are working extra shifts and coming in from annual leave to ensure that we can keep patients safe. We are also working closely with colleagues in local authorities and our other partners to try to minimise any delays in discharging patients who are ready to leave hospital.
“Only dial 999 in a life-threatening emergency, if someone is seriously ill or injured or their life is at risk – remember to keep emergency ambulances for emergencies.”
“We will continue to prioritise the care of patients who require urgent treatment. This does mean that patients who attend our Emergency Departments but whose needs are less pressing are likely to face longer than normal waits for treatment while the current pressures continue.
“We appreciate that this can be frustrating for people waiting for treatment or who are worried about family members. However we ask that people continue to be understanding and respectful of hospital staff who are working very hard to keep patients safe.
Before going to an Emergency Department patients should consider whether or not their condition does require hospital-level care.
Other NHS services, including NHS Direct Wales (available on 0845 46 47), your GP, high street pharmacies and local minor injuries units are able to provide advice on, and treat, a wide range of less serious ailments and conditions.
Picture via Wrexham.com
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