POLITICIANS have renewed their calls for action to be taken after ambulances queued again outside a hospital again.
By teatime yesterday, at least eight ambulances were waiting at Wrexham Maelor Hospital unable to discharge patients.
Concerned county councillors from Flintshire and Wrexham reacted by saying it was time something was done.
Flintshire councillor Carol Ellis described the situation as “utterly appalling”.
“This has got to be sorted. Lives are at risk.”
“Surely the Welsh Government should intervene now. Something’s got to happen.”
She added: “What would happen if there was a major emergency – a large-scale traffic accident or a major accident in a factory or a major outbreak of flu? Our hospitals can’t cope with day-to-day activity.”
Cllr Ellis, who chairs Flintshire’s health and social care overview and scrutiny committee, said the pressure on frontline staff was also an issue.
“Staff are under immense pressure and they wonder why they can’t recruit staff,” she said. “They want to sit back and think.
“Imagine when you’ve got that outside and you’ve got eight patients waiting to be treated.”
The current ward closure at Deeside Community Hospital reported this week in the Leader made no sense, she said.
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) managers said they shut one of two wards at the hospital due to staffing pressures and to undertake essential building works.
“Why don’t they have a crisis meeting and open those hospital beds and take that pressure off the district hospitals like the Maelor? They can’t tell me that none of this is material. How can it be?
“It’s so wrong and I feel so sorry for front line staff,” she said.
Cllr David Griffiths Wrexham Council’s lead member for health and adult social care said he sympathised with those affected.
“I share their frustration,” he said. “Something does need to be done. If it’s sourcing extra staff, that’s what they need to look at.
“I do think the health board needs to concentrate their efforts with vigour,” he added.
“The most important thing is that people are getting the proper care and attention they need.”
Cllr Griffiths said he honestly believed new health board chiefs were determined not to repeat the mistakes of the past and would ‘get their act together’.
“I do believe they truly want what we want, what we need,” he said.
But he said a chief executive still needed to be appointed to the top job at BCUHB.
“Every team needs a captain so that people can look to them for guidance,” he said.
“The sooner they sort that out the better. I don’t know what the reasons are for the prolonged time it’s taking.”