We all know from seeing the queues of ambulances outside Wrexham Maelor’s Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department that many patients are waiting too long before they receive treatment. This was reflected in statistics this week that show our hospital and Glan Clwyd face the greatest challenge in performance in Wales with only Morriston Hospital in Swansea in a worse situation.
For the month of November 70.3% of patients spent less than four hours or more in Wrexham’s A&E from arrival, until admission, transfer or discharge. Ysbyty Glan Clwyd at Bodelwyddan was slightly worse at 70.1% but both figures are not even within striking distance of the Welsh Government’s target of 95%.
But even more worrying is the 273 people in November who had to wait in Wrexham’s A&E department for over 12 hours. And in Ysbyty Glan Clwyd it was even worse – 370 had to wait over 12 hours.
Cancer patients also have to wait longer for treatment. In February the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board achieved the Welsh Government’s 95% target for newly diagnosed cancer patients being seen within 62 days or 9 weeks. But since then this figure has declined to 83.6% in October – this means 17.4% started their treatment over 9 weeks after being diagnosed.
This delay in treatment is not acceptable and I worry that some patients’ cancer is not being treated quickly enough to give them the best chance of beating the disease.
The figures for the Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board show a significant increase in treatment delays between May and June of this year. Between these two months the number of newly diagnosed cancer patients starting treatment within 62 days of diagnosis dropped from 90% to 81.7%.
I have seen constituents who appear to be waiting long periods before they start their cancer treatment and I will pursue this issue with the Health Board officials to find out the cause for these increasing delays.
I know that there are some very dedicated staff working in our NHS and these delays must be as frustrating for them as anyone else. The Leader of the Liberal Democrats Kirsty Williams has called for a Commission to be created with cross-party, patient and staff input to find out why our NHS is underperforming and plan for the future.
The NHS is too precious to be used as a political football but residents are rightly concerned as to the worsening situation