A WREXHAM patient has been told it could be three-years before he receives a specialist appointment for pain management by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB).

In March 2023, 68-year-old Paul Triggs from Wrexham contacted his GP with regards to debilitating lower back pain he'd been suffering from since September 2022.

Referred to Clinical Musculoskeletal Assessment and Treatment Service (CMATS), he later discovered his case had been passed on to a Pain Management Team without being contacted or told why.

Despite being told the average waiting time for an appointment was one year in November 2023, earlier this month, 13-months after his initial GP appointment, Paul contacted the booking centre to be told his appointment could be in a further two-years time.

Paul, who contacted North Wales MS Mark Isherwood over the issue, said: "There has been no communication or updates from BCU Health Board which is totally unlike anything I've experienced prior."

In response, Mr Isherwood has called for a statement from the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care on the Pain Management Service in North Wales, highlighting Paul's case.

Dr Nick Lyons, BCUHB’s executive medical director, has since provided comment on Paul's experience. He said: “I really do sympathise with our patients’ frustrations and apologise for the long waits for pain management appointments.

“Dealing with persistent pain can be extremely debilitating and have a profound effect on people’s lives.

“We struggle to give enough appointments, in the face of large numbers of complex referrals coming in to the Health Board. This means many patients require a multi-disciplinary approach, which limits the number of people we can see in clinics.


“What I can say is we are currently working on proposals which will change the way clinics operate. We are hopeful this will reduce waiting times for many of our patients.”

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “These waits are not acceptable, as we expect all patients to be seen in a timely manner.

“The Cabinet Secretary for Health has been clear that the health board must take action to reduce waiting times and must set timescales for addressing the issue.”