Routine surgery resumed in north Wales hospitals

Published date: 27 January 2014 |
Published by: Mike Williams 
Read more articles by Mike Williams  Email reporter


ROUTINE surgery has resumed in north Wales after it was postponed across all three major hospitals last week. 

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board announced on Monday that routine inpatient surgery will resume in a “phased way” after it was postponed in Ysbyty Gwynedd, Glan Clwyd and Wrexham Maelor throughout last week. 

Executive medical director, professor Matthew Makin, said: “While our hospitals continue to experience pressure, our winter plans are helping us to manage. 

“Our staff are working tirelessly to provide safe care for our patients every day.” 

Patients will be re-booked for their operations “as soon as possible.” 

Prof Makin added: “I would like to repeat my apology to every patient who has been inconvenienced.” 

The suspension of surgery was met with strong criticism last week. 

Public watchdog North Wales Health Council said more warning should have been given. 

Health council chief officer Geoff Ryall-Harvey said: "The CHC has always quizzed the health board closely on plans for temporary changes if pressures on services increase and we have always been clear that if such plans proved necessary in the future, the board should give notification of such changes as far in advance as possible.” 

The health board said the decision was made due to "significant pressure" on emergency staff. 

Urgent operations including those for cancer were unaffected, as well as eye and orthopedic surgery at Abergele hospital. 

Mr Ryall-Harvey added: "It is worrying that none of the usual causes for high levels of emergency admissions to hospitals, such as icy weather, causing trips and falls; flu and other respiratory infections, are an issue here. 

"Delays in planned operations could well result in those conditions becoming emergencies and it is my concern that there will be a real cost in terms of pain, suffering and worry for patients whose operations are delayed." 

Aled Roberts, Assembly Member for North Wales, said: “This is yet further evidence that Betsi Cadwaladr health board is under an immense amount of pressure and that it is really struggling." 

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