NINE ambulances queued outside Wrexham Maelor Hospital yesterday because of “an increase in seriously ill patients”.
A Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) spokesman said the back-up was caused by a combination of factors, including beds being taken up for longer and more seriously ill people being admitted.
The nine ambulances – three more than would fit in the hospital’s six bays – were seen waiting at about 1.30pm.
The spokesman said: “Over the last few weeks there has been a significant increase in the number of seriously ill patients being admitted to hospital, which has put increased pressure on beds as patients have needed longer stays in hospital than normal.
“Emergency pressures do fluctuate during the day, and from day to day, and the A&E department at Wrexham Maelor Hospital is also currently experiencing a high level of attendances.”
The spokesman said all efforts were being made to keep people away from A&E who did not need the service by talking with local GPs.
“The health board is working with colleagues in the Welsh Ambulance Service and general practice to reduce admissions and to minimise delays at the A&E department wherever possible,” the spokesman said.
“The health board has also opened additional beds and brought in additional staff to help the situation.
“Despite this, some people have had to wait for care and treatment and we are sorry we have not been able to see them as quickly as usual.
“Our planned changes to community services, such as developing home enhanced care, will provide alternatives to hospital admission which do not currently exist and will therefore reduce pressure on emergency admissions and beds in both the acute and community hospitals.”
By 4.30pm three ambulances only were present outside the hospital, the spokesman said.