BETSI Cadwaladr's Chief Executive says the health board has taken part in a 'system reset' in an attempt to focus on issues impacting patients in North Wales. 

At Thursday's (March 10) Health Board Agenda Meeting, Jo Whitehead addressed concerns regarding the current performance of Betsi Cadwaladr in three key areas. 

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A quality and performance report presented to the board highlighted performances in unscheduled care, scheduled care and adult mental health measures had all decreased over the past six months. 

Unscheduled care relates to emergency situations faced by the Health Board, such as responding to red calls, ambulance handovers and the time taken to discharge patients on emergency wards. 

The Leader: Betsi Cadwaladr Chief Executive, Jo Whitehead. (Pic: BCUHB)Betsi Cadwaladr Chief Executive, Jo Whitehead. (Pic: BCUHB)

A target set by the Health Board is to have no ambulance handovers (patients being conveyed from ambulances into the hospitals) longer than one hour, the figures released in the report state that 1,998 handovers were over an hour. 

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These delays on handovers therefore caused a queue of ambulances at hospitals and a delayed response to emergency calls. 

The Chief Executive confirmed that the board had previosuly confirmed extra funding for staff in an attempt to reduce these times. 

Betsi Cadwaladr's Executive Director of Finance, Sue Hill said:"Pressures on unscheduled care remains, we are not alone, it is a pressure being found in NHS in Wales and the UK.

"It is a symptom of patients medically fit to be discharged, in the system. This requires an integrated action plan from health and social care about how we can support patients better and that we don't have congestion in out ED and Minor Injury Unit areas."

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Betsi aim to have zero patients spend 12 hours or more in all hospital major and minor care facilities from arrival until admission, transfer or discharge. In January, figures show 2,728 patients did just that. 

Speaking about the 'system reset', Ms Whithead said:"We along with all health and local authority organisations across Wales are taking part in what we're calling a 'system reset' at this moment in time. 

"This is a really strongly focused attempt to deal with two particular issues which are impacting on the health and wellbeing of patients in North Wales. 

"One being ambulance delays and the other being the number of patients ready for discharge."

The Chief Executive added that the impact of the 'system reset' was already showing with the times people are waiting to be discharged having reduced since it's introduction.