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Latest Wrexham Maelor Hospital waiting time data for October shows improvement – but still worst in Wales

NOTE: This content is old - Published: Monday, Nov 26th, 2018.

The latest data for ‘performance against waiting times targets by hospital’ have been released for October this year, and although having some of the lowest performance indicators in Wales, they are higher than recent months.

Figures released by NHS Wales Informatics Service show that throughout October there were 5,397 total people attending Wrexham Maelor Accident and Emergency department. 2,918 potential patients spent less than the four hour target time in A&E, 54.1%.

The percentage is defined as the percentage of attendances where patients spend less than the target time from arrival until admission, transfer or discharge.

The latest stats are an improvement, as September saw 50.9% and August 49.7% , the latter having the dubious honour of being the worst performance of any emergency unit ever recorded in Wales.

May was the best performing month this year with 64.8% of people spending less than that specific target time.

The percentage last month was however the lowest in Wales, with Ysbyty Glan Clwyd the next lowest with 58.5%, the third lowest was Ysbyty Gwynedd with 71.6%. All three coming under Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.

BCUHB had the lowest percentages in Wales, with the tables topped by Powys Teaching Health Board (based off just 1644 total attendances) at 99.6 with Cardiff and Vale University Health Board (13,145 visits) and Cwm Taf University Health Board (11,812 visits) both hit 86%

Out of all the attendances to the Maelor’s A&E in October the most common age range was 5-17 year olds (562) with the top three age ranges covering the ages 0-24.

The information update gives a Wales-wide picture, where there were 1,030,680 attendances to A&E departments, an average of 2,824 a day, 74 more a day than 2016-17. There were larger increases in older age groups.

A graph shows the total attendances and waiting time bands by local health board, 2017-18:

Across Wales 81.7% of patients spent less than 4 hours in A&E departments from arrival until admission, transfer or discharge. This is 0.3 percentage
points less than in 2016-17 but around 20,000 more patients. 38,904 patients spent longer than 12 hours in A&E departments, 5,062 more than the previous year. Data shows patients over the age of 85 spent longer than average in A&E from arrival until admission, transfer or discharge.

The update also provides the following interesting graph, showing the total number of new attendances at accident and emergency departments in
Wales from 1959 onwards, with the number of A&E attendances increasing almost five times since this data was first collected in 1959.

Previously speaking at a recent meeting of Wrexham Council’s safeguarding scrutiny committee, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board’s chief executive Gary Doherty said: “There’s a number of reasons for that and they include the challenge of patients coming to us as we have more majors patients coming to us than we had this time last year.

“Part of the issue within our organisation is staffing, so if we take Wrexham Maelor for example, we’ve got substantial vacancies in terms of nurses and in terms of medics.

“We’re trying to do a lot to recruit to those vacancies.

“In those areas of A&E consultants and paediatric consultants, there is a national issue with recruitment.”

In August, the Welsh Government announced a cash injection of £6.8 million for the health board, which has been in special measures for more than three years. It was partly given to increase operational capacity at the three hospitals in north Wales.

The data update also contains a diagram showing the link between arrival method and outcome from A&E visit for 2017-18. Ambulances covers air ambulance, and ‘with a vehicle’ contains those using public transport. ‘Other’ contains those walking, or via police car.

There is no Wrexham specific data for arrival times, however there is Wales-wide information. The most common time to arrive at A&E for adults (aged 18 to 74) is around midday. The most common day is Monday, while average attendances decrease across the week. In the younger age group (under 18), attendances have a less pronounced peak in day time but peak in the evening hours during the week (less so at the weekend). The attendances for the over 75s also peak at around midday.

The below is a heat map of the daily attendances to accident and emergency departments in Wales throughout 2017-18. The redder the square means the higher the number of attendances for that day, the more green the fewer attendances on that day. The day with the most attendances for those arriving in accident and emergency departments in Wales for 2017-18 was on the 10th of July (most health boards had a high number of attendances). The days with the least attendances were the 1st and 2nd of March (most health boards had a low number of attendances); this could be explained by the snowfall during this period.

Our ‘wait time bot’ can be found @WrexMaelorBot with the latest output below. It grabs the realtime NHS provided data and tweets it out / records it publicly.

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