Posted: Wed 21st Apr 2021

Over 44,000 patients in North Wales left waiting more than a year for operation as health board says clearing Covid backlog could take up to five years

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Apr 21st, 2021

Over 44,000 patients in North Wales have been left waiting more than a year for an operation, the region’s health board has revealed.

All routine surgery at the area’s three main hospitals was placed on hold last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board estimates that clearing the resulting backlog could take as long as five years.

Specialist surgery such as orthopaedics are said to have been worst affected with hospitals currently putting recovery plans in place.

A report to health board members shows Wrexham Maelor Hospital has restarted all elective surgery, except orthopaedics, which is scheduled for early May.

Ysbyty Glan Clwyd and Ysbyty Gwynedd are starting elective activity this month, with orthopaedics to follow next month at the two hospitals.

Actions proposed to address the backlog include:

  • Assessing the risk to patients rather than just time waiting
  • Health education and promotion – keeping patients healthy and exploring non-surgical treatment options
  • Expand virtual health care
  • Extra capacity – modular wards/theatres
  • Redeploying internal staff to support with surgical activity

The report will be presented at a health board meeting being held via Zoom on Thursday.

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