North East Wales

Wrexham Maelor Hospital ambulance queue health board apology

Ambulances queue outside Wrexham Maelor hospital
Image caption The health board said the queue was caused by an increase of seriously ill patients and A&E attendances

A health board has apologised for ambulances queuing outside a hospital but says increased patient numbers and A&E attendances are responsible.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board was responding after a line-up of nine ambulances was reported outside Wrexham Maelor Hospital on Monday.

A board spokesperson said extra beds were being opened, and additional staff brought in to cope.

Last year Ysbyty Glan Clwyd in Bodelwyddan was criticised for delays.

At the time the Health Inspectorate Wales (HIW) made 20 recommendations for improvements after it found five ambulances regularly had to queue outside the A&E department.

Extra beds

On Monday a Betsi Cadwaladr health board spokesperson said: "Over the last few weeks there has been a significant increase in the number of seriously ill patients being admitted to hospital, which has put increased pressure on beds as patients have needed longer stays in hospital than normal.

"Emergency pressures do fluctuate during the day, and from day-to-day, and the A&E department at Wrexham Maelor Hospital is also currently experiencing a high level of attendances."

The spokesperson said the health board is working with the Welsh Ambulance Service and GPs to reduce admissions and to minimise delays at the A&E department whenever possible.

Extra beds had been opened and additional staff brought in, the spokesperson added.

"Despite this some people have had to wait for care and treatment and we are sorry we have not been able to see them as quickly as usual."

The spokesperson said that planned changes to community services, such as "home enhanced care" will provide alternatives to hospital admission in the future.

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