Region still among worst in Wales for the time people spend in A&E

Reporter:

Owen Evans

Hundreds of patients are still spending more than 12 hours in emergency departments in the region.

Figures released by the Welsh Government showed the time people are spending in A&E has held steady between March and February.

But the region is still among the worst in Wales for the amount of time people are spending there.

According to the figures, released yesterday, a total of 345 people in Wrexham Maelor, or 6.5 per cent, and 576 at Glan Clwyd, or 12.3 per cent, spent more than 12 hours in A&E during March.

Glan Clwyd’s result was the worst recorded in Wales, while Wrexham Maelor’s was third worst.

The figures were a slight improvement compared with February, when 11.5 per cent of patients at Glan Clwyd and 6.4 per cent at Wrexham were present for more than 12 hours.

According to the statistics, a total of 68.1 per cent of patients at Wrexham Maelor were present for less than four hours before being admitted, transferred or discharged.

At Glan Clwyd Hospital, this figure was 67.5 per cent – the third worst in Wales.

In the previous month, 70.3 per cent at Wrexham and 69.8 per cent at Glan Clwyd were dealt with in less than four hours.

In Wales overall, 80.9 per cent of patients were dealt with in less than four hours, while 4.1 per cent spent more than 12 hours in the departments.

Nigel Lee, the health board’s director of secondary care, said: “During March we saw a steady demand in the emergency departments at both Glan Clwyd Hospital and Wrexham Maelor Hospital.

“There have been improvements. The number of patients delayed in ambulances at our emergency departments has reduced significantly in 2017.

“Importantly, we have also seen improvements in the four hour performance at Wrexham Maelor Hospital as compared to March last year.

“We always prioritise the treatment of patients according to their clinical priority. This means that, at times, some patients whose needs are less urgent can experience extended waits in our department, despite the great efforts of nursing and medical staff working in these departments.”

He added: “Many patients who do not need full emergency hospital treatment may find they can get appropriate advice and care from other NHS services, including our minor injuries units, local pharmacists or by calling NHS Direct Wales on 0845 46 47.

“We also encourage our patients to download our ‘Live Wait Times’ smartphone app, for iPhones and Android which gives patients an up-to-date guide on how long they are likely to spend in our minor injuries units and emergency departments, as well as contact information and directions to these units.”

 

l RESPONSE time targets for the most serious calls in the region were once again beaten.

Figures released by the Welsh Government showed 74.9 per cent of the most serious calls had a response within eight minutes during March in North Wales.

But the results represent a decrease compared with the previous month, where 79.6 per cent of ‘red’ calls were responded to in eight minutes.

It is also below the Wales average of 77.9 per cent of calls.

The figures showed there were 1,833 ‘red’ emergency incidents in March in Wales overall.

As well as hitting the eight minute target, the service attended 82.7 per cent of red calls within nine minutes and 86.5 per cent within 10 minutes.

Only about five per cent of calls are designated as red after the system was changed in October 2015 to prioritise the most urgent calls.

See full story in the Leader

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