A HOSPITAL bug has been blamed for a rise in ward closures.
Figures show that increases in bed closures at Glan Clwyd Hospital were six times higher than at other hospitals in North Wales.
Glan Clwyd, where many Flintshire patients are treated, saw an increase in closures of 33 per cent from 2012 to 2013.
The figure jumped from a total of 1,816 bed closure days in 2012 to 2,498 last year.
The average at other hospitals in North Wales was just five per cent.
The figures obtained by the Leader though a freedom of information request reveal that across the region bed closures rose from 12,819 to 13,418 in total.
Of the region’s main three hospitals, Glan Clwyd was the only facility to see an increase.
Wrexham’s Maelor Hospital saw a drop of approximately 33 per cent from just under 3,000 to 1,979.
Gwynedd Hospital also saw an improvement with a drop of about 25 per cent – although at 3,449, it did record the highest number of closures.
A spokesman for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said the figures had risen because of infection control measures.
“Temporary bed closures occur for various reasons,” he said. “These include to allow maintenance work to be carried out as part of infection control procedures or when staff absence mean we have to restrict the number of patients that can be cared for on a particular ward.
“The 2013 figure for Glan Clwyd was particularly affected by strict infection control measures that we used to deal with an increased number of clostridium difficile cases early in the year.
“We restricted admissions to beds in areas that had been affected by the outbreak, and did not reopen these areas until all patients had been discharged and deep cleaning and disinfection had been carried out to make sure it was a safe environment for new patients coming in.”