Wrexham Maelor A&E, long waits and overcrowding putting patients at risk, inspection finds
Patient care and long waiting times at the Wrexham Maelor Hospital emergency department have raised serious concerns, according to a recent inspection conducted by the Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW).
The inspection found that some patients were waiting over 16 hours to be seen by a doctor, putting their health at risk, and the main waiting area was overcrowded.
Despite this, inspectors noted that the emergency department was clean and tidy, with good management and friendly, professional staff.
The high volume of patients and lack of space was a major challenge for the department, leading to specialist areas being used for general care needs.
The system in place to detect worsening patient conditions was not always effective and patients presenting with symptoms of sepsis were not always escalated in a timely manner.
Furthermore, national guidelines for specific treatments were not always followed, leading to some patients not receiving the best possible care.
“The pressure on NHS services continues to be extraordinarily high and as in other emergency department inspections we have undertaken, in Wrexham Maelor we have again found evidence of a service struggling to meet demand whilst maintaining patient safety,” said Alun Jones, Chief Executive of HIW.
HIW has made recommendations to the health board to improve the emergency department, including reducing waiting times, providing up-to-date information on waiting times, improving triage times, following national guidelines, and conducting observations more frequently.
HIW has said the health board has produced a “comprehensive plan with detailed actions to improve the department.”
Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Health, Russell George MS, criticized the Labour government in Cardiff Bay, saying, “It is clear from this report that our hardworking healthcare workers are being let down by the Labour Government in Cardiff Bay… Labour ministers need to accept the fact that these pressures are a direct result of a quarter of a century of Labour’s atrocious mismanagement, and it is they who are putting both staff and patients at risk.”
The results of the inspection highlight the pressure and challenges faced by emergency departments in Wales and the need for increased resources and improvements in patient care.
HIW said it will continue to engage with Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board to ensure progress against the findings.
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