Posted: Mon 11th Jan 2021

Health board postpones planned surgery due to “pressures of COVID-19 at Wrexham Maelor Hospital” for people living in or visiting the wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Monday, Jan 11th, 2021

Planned surgery has been paused due to pressures of COVID-19 at the Wrexham Maelor Hospital, the health board has confirmed today.

This will be in place for an initial period of two weeks with immediate effect from today, Monday, 11 January.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board say the decision has been taken due to the “increasing transmission” of COVID-19 in the Wrexham and Flintshire areas, the number of patients being treated for the virus – currently 128 – at the hospital together with winter pressures.

This action will support the expansion of respiratory and critical care capacity to treat seriously ill COVID-19 patients – something which was highlighted by Dr Stanaway to BBC Wales this morning.

The specialties affected by these changes are:

· Urology
· Breast
· Ophthalmology
· General surgery
· Gynaecology
· Ear Nose and Throat (ENT)

All patients affected will be contacted directly by the Health Board about the postponement of their procedure. If clinically appropriate, they may be offered their procedure at Ysbyty Gwynedd.

Patients who are offered the opportunity to have their procedures at Ysbyty Gwynedd will be prioritised based on clinical need, regardless of where in north Wales they live, the health board say.

Urgent outpatient appointments only will continue at Wrexham Maelor Hospital for the present time. Face-to-face routine appointments will be postponed and will take place either via a virtual or telephone consultation.

Planned surgery at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd in Bodelwyddan and Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor will continue, although with the rising COVID-19 incidence, this is also under constant review by the Health Board.

Due to the pressures of COVID-19, planned Orthopaedic surgery will be paused across North Wales from Monday, 18 January. Trauma surgery will continue as normal across all three hospital sites.

Professor Arpan Guha, Acting Executive Medical Director at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said: “There are many patients expecting to undergo an operation in Wrexham over the coming weeks and we recognise how anxious and worried they will already be about having surgery during the current surge of the pandemic.

“We are sorry for any further distress or inconvenience this decision may cause and would like to reassure those affected that we are doing all we can to prioritise patients in the most urgent need of care.

“Our priority is to provide the safest possible environment for surgical patients. This clinically led decision has been made after reviewing predicted demand on our services from both COVID-19 and winter pressures.

“Our staff are doing all they can to provide the best care for all patients while dealing with the challenges caused by the absences of colleagues due to COVID-19 infection, isolating and shielding.”

Advice to patients due to undergo surgery at Wrexham Maelor Hospital during the next two weeks

· You will be contacted by hospital staff by phone about your appointment. Please do not contact the hospital switchboard.
· If you do not hear from the hospital, please attend your appointment as arranged.
· If you have any questions or need further information about an appointment or operation, please use the contact information provided on any correspondence received, for example a patient letter.
· If you are seriously unwell and cannot wait to be seen, our advice remains to please seek help by dialling 999 or attending the Emergency Department

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