THE latest figures on A&E waiting times in Wales have revealed that the Rhyl hospital is the worst-performing in the country, with two thirds of patients waiting more than four hours to be seen.

This comes just days after health board watchdog Health Inspectorate Wales’ report into the hospital’s Emergency Department (ED) identified it as a “Service Requiring Significant Improvement”, with huge concern over patient safety.

Welsh NHS data for March has revealed that North Wales’ Betsi Cadwaladr University health board was the worst performing area in the nation against the four-hour A&E target, seeing only 56 per cent of patients within four hours, with the worst performing hospital being Ysbyty Glan Clwyd with just 34.7 per cent being seen in that time, followed closely by Wrexham Maelor at 39.7 per cent.

Challenging the Health Minister over the report in the Senedd Chamber, MS for Clwyd West Darren Millar said the findings were “alarming” and that the former Health Minister’s decision to take Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board out of special measures last year “was the wrong one.”

MORE: Ysbyty Gwynedd nurses reveal shocking treatment of staff

Commenting on the A&E waiting time figures published yesterday, Mr Millar said: “With this health board it really is just one thing after another and yet all we have had from the Labour Welsh Government for years is empty promises that the situation will improve.

“People in my constituency depend on this emergency department, yet it continues to fall short.

“Beti Cadwaladr University Health Board should never have been taken out of special measures last year, there are simply too many problems which need to be addressed, including not enough beds and insufficient staff.

“The Health Minister’s assurances that the issues will be addressed are not enough, we are fed up of excuses and demand the improvements we have been promised.”

MORE: Aberconwy MS calls for improvements to North Wales NHS

Gill Harris, Executive Director of Integrated Clinical Delivery, said: “We are disappointed with the latest waiting time figures, which reflect the extreme levels of demand Ysbyty Glan Clwyd is experiencing. The significant pressures on our Emergency Departments are not easing.

“Despite the continued best efforts of our nursing and medical staff we know too many people are waiting longer than they should to be seen and treated. We would like to reassure the public that patients are always prioritised according to their clinical need.

“We are committed to making sure all of our patients receive high quality, timely treatment wherever and whenever they access our services.

MORE: Ysbyty Glan Clwyd: Welsh Government urged to take action

“We would ask the public to help us by accessing the appropriate advice and care from other NHS services, including our minor injuries units, NHS111 and local pharmacies, if they do not need the specialist lifesaving services our hospitals provide.

“There remain challenges to discharge patients from hospital to suitable accommodation or care services.

“This does impact flow through the entire hospital system, and on our ability to bring patients into and through the Emergency Department in a timely manner and we are working with our health and social care partners to improve this.”