Less than a year after saying three hospitals in North Wales will have emergency vascular surgery provision, the troubled health board will now only have one hospital offer the service for the whole region.
Previously, emergency and inpatient treatment was to be kept in Bangor’s Ysbyty Gwynedd, Wrexham Maelor Hospital, and Bodelwyddan’s Ysybyty Glan Clwyd, with only the latter now providing it.
This followed an online petition signed by 3,000 people and the issue being raised in Prime Minister’s Questions.
In September, Ysbyty Glan Clwyd and Wrexham Maelor recorded the worst A&E statistics on record as only 52.9% and 49.7% of patients were seen within four hours, respectively, against a Welsh Government target of 95%, which hasn’t been met in over a decade.
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board has been in special measures – and so under direct Welsh Government control – for over three and a half years.
Commenting, Aberconwy AM Janet Finch-Saunders, said:
“This u-turn is another slap in the face for the people of North Wales. Our health board has been recklessly mismanaged by the Welsh Labour Government and, as a consequence, Betsi Cadwaladr UHB have had to take this dreadful decision.
“What we’re talking about here is emergency surgery; this will mean those that need immediate vascular treatment in Holyhead will have to travel twice as long as before and those in Wrexham have to travel 45 minutes rather than to the hospital in their own locality.
“I want to know what impact assessment has been made prior to this decision on patient safety and health outcomes, especially when we know that every second counts in an emergency.
“Although I am pleased to see Glan Clwyd have received £3.5m to build a state-of-the-art specialist centre to provide this care, it will not halt the sense of dread in North Wales where people are seeing their services shrinking – and not just for healthcare.”