Posted: Sun 12th Mar 2023

North Wales residents urged to share experiences of hospital waiting lists

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Sunday, Mar 12th, 2023

Patients have been left in agony, others have missed out on jobs, and a number have lost relationships amid long waits for hospital operations.

These are just some of the human costs faced by patients waiting many months for treatment, an independent health and social care services scrutiny body has revealed.

Following the pandemic, the number of people waiting more than 52 weeks for treatment has “dramatically increased”, the North Wales Community Health Council [NWCHC] said.

It is now calling for North Wales residents to share their views and experiences of waiting.

The public scrutiny body, which has fought for patients rights for around 50 years, has organised a number of events across the region.

It is one of the last campaigns organised by the NWCHC in its current format, before it is disbanded on Friday, March 31.

In April 2023, it will be absorbed into Llais, a Welsh Government scheme, which aims to give a voice to patients through its developing Citizens Voice Body.

NWCHC is currently trying to get “as much done a as possible”, before the changeover, its chief officer said.

The NWCHA published a survey on the effects of long waits for operations in 2018.

The report, titled Our Lives on Hold, describes the human cost of long waits for treatment.

The organisation campaigns for the Welsh Government to fund initiatives to reduce waiting times.

Geoff Ryall-Harvey, chief officer for NWCHC said: “We’ve heard of people in chronic pain, from those who had lost jobs due to their inability to work.

“People also told us about damaged relationships and being unable to participate in family life, such as looking after grandchildren or going on a holiday.”

Now the NWCHC wants to hear how this currently affects patients and families, lives and well-being.

It hopes to be able to “build the case” for additional resources to clear waiting lists and return to pre-pandemic waiting times – “hopefully better than that within two years,” Mr Ryall-Harvey added.

NWCHC will be holding face to face and online events inviting patients, their carers and families to talk about their experience of waiting for operations.
Comments can also be made through e-mail, social media, and by telephone.

Events will take place at: Colwyn Bay Cricket Club, 1.30pm, March 22, Zoom online, 7pm March 23, Y Ganolfan Porthmadog, 10.30am, March 27, Zoom online, 7pm, March 28, Ty Pawb Wrexham, 10,30am, March 29 and Zoom online, 10.30am, March 31.

To attend, register in advance by contacting the North Wales Community Health Council, on: 01248 679284 (leave a message and a team member will be in touch) or e-mail [email protected]

Or register by the following link:

https://forms.office.com/e/6aebJLx7sw

Registration is on a ‘first come, first served,’ basis, but additional sessions will be organised if necessary.

See the 2018 ‘Our Lives on Hold’ report on the NWCHC website at https://northwaleschc.nhs.wales/files/report-library/our-lives-on-hold-english-10052018pdf/

By Dale Spridgeon – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).

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