Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board have apologised for “longer waiting times than usual” at the Wrexham Maelor Hospital’s A&E department following complaints that some people were waiting over 12 hours to be seen.
Yesterday saw the hospital’s emergency department experience “high demand”, with the health board today stating that there were high numbers of people attending during both the day and evening.
One person contacted us to say that a woman had been waiting to be seen for 12 hours. Another told us that some people had been waiting “over 17 hours” to be seen, while they had been waiting nine hours to see a doctor.
We contacted the health board to ask what caused the delays and increased demand last night. We also asked if it was possible to confirm what the longest waiting time was and if indeed some people had been waiting for 17 hours.
A spokesperson for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said: “We apologise for longer waiting times than usual at Wrexham Maelor Hospital’s emergency department yesterday.
“We experienced exceptionally high demand in service and very high numbers of attendances at the Emergency Department during the day and the evening.
“We always prioritise the treatment of patients according to their clinical need. To ensure patient safety, prioritisation took place which ensured that patients who have a higher clinical risk were treated and moved into appropriate departments in a timely way.
“This means that, at times, some patients whose needs are less urgent can experience extended waits in our department, despite the best efforts of nursing and medical staff.
“Many patients who do not need full emergency hospital treatment may find that they can get appropriate advice and care from other NHS services, including our minor injuries units, local pharmacists or by calling NHS Direct Wales on 0845 46 47.”
Tomorrow health board representatives will meet with councillors to take questions on a series of topics, including the performance of the Wrexham Maelor’s emergency department. Our report on tomorrow’s meeting can be found here.