WREXHAM Maelor had the worst performing A&E in Wales last month, according to figures.

For the fourth consecutive month, A&E waiting times in Wales are the worst on record.

According to the figures for December 2019, which were published on Thursday, the worst-performing hospital was Wrexham Maelor, which saw a little over half (52.2 per cent) of patients within the four-hour target.

This is 10 percentage points down on its own figures for November 2019.

The second worst was Ysbyty Glan Clwyd at 52.5 per cent.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board – which has been in special measures since June 2015 – was the worst-performing health board in the data, with just 66.8 per cent of patients being seen within the critical four-hour period.

Some 6,656 patients were forced to wait more than 12 hours for treatment.

Shadow Health Minister Angela Burns AM said: “These figures are disturbing.

“The Health Minister must announce what remedial action he is going to take, and a definite timeframe in which to deliver it.

“In those critical times when people attend A & E departments, they need the reassurance that they will be seen not ‘as soon as possible’, but within – and well within – the waiting periods set by this Welsh Labour Government and its Health Minister.

“And let’s be clear: our hardworking NHS Wales staff are there to deliver the best care that they can, but they, too, are being let down by mismanagement at the top.

“It’s a credit to them that they manage to cope under such circumstances.”

A spokesman for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said: “Last month we saw more seriously ill or injured people in our Emergency Departments than ever before.

“This put our staff and services under extreme pressure and we would like to apologise to anyone who waited longer than they should while we provided care and support for those with the greatest need.

“During December, Emergency Departments across the UK experienced an unprecedented increased demand and an increase in the number of patients categorised as majors.

“Our EDs across North Wales treated more than 10,000 people in this category for the first time ever.

“We continue to urge people to help us deliver the best care we can by choosing the most appropriate place to get care and support when they need it.

“For more information people can call NHS Direct Wales on 0845 46 47, visit the Choose Well website (www.choosewellwales.org.uk) or download the free Choose Well Wales app.”

A Welsh Government spokesman added: “This year we provided an extra £30m to health boards and local authorities, earlier than ever before, to help them add health and social care capacity in preparation for the increased winter pressures. Today we have also announced a further £10m to be targeted at helping people to leave hospital when ready and relieve pressure on Emergency Departments.

“We recognise that demand remains high across NHS Wales reflecting the situation across the UK. Staff are working incredibly hard to respond to the significant pressures throughout the system.

“We are working with all health boards to ensure they deliver the best possible outcome for patients in the here and now, and to support the further practical work needed to reform services through delivery of a Healthier Wales: our long term plan for health and social care.”