THE number of patients leaving hospitals in North Wales before being seen by a doctor has risen.
A report to this week’s meeting of the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board reveals that in April, 10 per cent of patients walked out of the three main emergency departments, mainly due to having to wait over four hours to be seen.
The most walkouts have been in Glan Clwyd Hospital, Bodelwyddan, and the Maelor Hospital, Wrexham, where a study is now being carried out to try to find out why exactly this is happening.
The situation reflects the rise in the number of people having to wait four hours to be seen by a clinician.
The national target is for 95 per cent to be seen within that time but in April the figure across the North Wales units, including minor injury units, was 76.6 per cent, which the report describes as “disappointing”.
In the west the figure was 82 per cent , in central 77 per cent and in the east 69 per cent. Easter weekend is believed to have affected the statistics, with the figure having fallen to 50 per cent in the east, whereas special planning for the period in the west saw the figure reach 84.16 per cent .
“All three sites face significant challenges as the numbers of delayed transfers of care which reduce bed capacity are impacting upon the flow of patients that need to be admitted from the emergency departments into ward beds,” says the report by chief operating officer Dr Morag Olsen.
There is slightly better news regarding longer A&E waits. In April, 917 had to wait over 12 hours, a fall of 111 compared to March, with the greatest improvement being at Glan Clwyd. There was also a fall of 156 in the total number of patients kept in ambulances outside departments for over 60 minutes