North West Wales

Ysbyty Gwynedd patient's seven-hour wait in ambulance for bed

A patient was forced to wait in an ambulance for more than seven hours outside Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor because of a hospital bed shortage.

The Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board blamed a "very busy" weekend made worse by a norovirus outbreak forcing bed closures.

Anglesey councillor Trefor Lloyd Hughes, a former ambulanceman, called the delay "absolutely dire".

The health board said the patient was safe and assessed in the ambulance.

In a statement, Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board said emergency departments across north Wales were very busy towards the end of last week and over the weekend.

"The number of available beds was significantly reduced as result of a norovirus outbreak and the need to close beds to contain the outbreak," the statement said.

"This meant that the capacity to admit patients in to acute hospital beds was restricted, leading to increased delays in admitting patients from emergency departments to wards."

As a result, some ambulances were forced to wait outside emergency departments for "longer than we would normally deem acceptable", said the board.

The statement added: "When these situations arise, patients are assessed in the ambulance to ensure they remain safe and priority is given to those in the greatest need of emergency care."

A Welsh Ambulance Service spokesperson said they were aware of the delay and were working with the health board to ensure patients are dealt with "safely and as quickly as possible".

The patient has not been named.

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