By Sarah Atherton
MP for Wrexham

Ensuring Wrexham has access to excellent healthcare has always been one of my priorities and I have been campaigning for improvements to health services in North Wales since my election. As healthcare is devolved, the Welsh Government rejected my calls for an inquiry into healthcare in North Wales and declined an independent Wales COVID-19 inquiry. The UK Government has handed the Welsh Government a record amount of funding, and despite this, access to decent healthcare in Wrexham and North Wales is getting worse.

On top of UK Government funding, the Welsh Government announced an extra £1bn of funding to be invested into NHS Wales over the next Senedd term. Taken at face value, this is great news. However, the Welsh Health Minister ignored my request for information on how, when, and if the Welsh Government funding will be spent in a way that benefits my constituents in Wrexham.

For 20 years Members of the Senedd who have had cabinet responsibility and the power to make changes have neglected to take any action. It has been a lonely place calling for better healthcare in Wrexham and has taken a long time, but I am pleased that politicians of all party colours have now started to join this cause. Ultimately, whoever and however change is brought about is irrelevant – we just need change.

Last week, a BBC Wales report on healthcare in North Wales focused on the shocking state of Wrexham Maelor Hospital, which was in special measures before the pandemic. A 24-week wait time for referred treatment in Wales, compared to 13 weeks in England, is not good enough and it is disappointing that we are seeing little change. Sadly, none of this is new.

Following this damning report, on Tuesday last week I raised these concerns in Parliament with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid, who responded by agreeing with me that Wales has ‘lots of lessons to learn’ about running the NHS. Due to the Welsh Labour Government’s neglect prior to, and during the pandemic, Wrexham residents continue to suffer under a failing health service.

It is disappointing that the Welsh Government is distracted by the costly £12 million a year plan for more MSs in the Senedd, whilst real problems such as 12.5-hour A&E waiting times in Wrexham persist.

Last Friday, I was out and about in Borras chatting to residents about my health campaign and listening to their concerns. There was an overwhelmingly positive response to my health campaign, and we have nearly reached 1,000 submissions from Wrexham residents. As usual, I am in regular contact with the Chief Executive of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and the Managing Director of Wrexham Maelor Hospital and will continue to push for improvements which Wrexham people deserve.

The health campaign continues and if you have not done so already, please visit my website and sign my campaign to send the Welsh Government a strong message that we deserve better! Follow this link to give your say:

As always, if you are a resident in Wrexham and need my assistance with any local or national issues, please contact me by emailing