Waits of more than a day in A&E revealed
1:01pm Thursday 5th September 2013 in News
MORE than 350 patients waited more than 24 hours in A&E departments at Gwent hospitals during the last year.
The figures, revealed following a Freedom of Information Act (FOI) request by the Welsh Conservatives, show that 240 of these waits were at the Royal Gwent Hospital, with 114 at Nevill Hall in Abergavenny.
Overall in Wales, almost 2,400 waits of more than 24 waits in A&E were recorded during July 2012-June 2013.
Shadow health minister Darren Millar said such lengthy waits are "difficult to imagine."
“Waits of just a few hours will be distressing and uncomfortable for many. Spending more than a day waiting to be treated or discharged is unthinkable," he said.
He placed the blame firmly at the door of the Welsh Government.
In a reply to the Tories' FOI request, Aneurin Bevan Health Board chief executive Dr Andrew Goodall said that in redesigned models of emergency and urgent care, some patients are "intentionally managed in a short stay area to facilitate early assessment and discharge."
The board has set up Clinical Decision Units within emergency departments for patients needing 24 or 48-hour stays for diagnosis, assessment and discharge, and it is "clinically legitimate" for them to be treated there to avoid an inpatient admission.
FOUR hospitals in Wales had higher numbers of patients waiting more than 24 hours in A&E than the Royal Gwent.
These were Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil (533), the Royal Glamorgan, Llantrisant (411), Morriston in Swansea (271), and the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff (265).
Dr Goodall stressed that CDU trolleys are specially designed for nursing patients over a longer period than a standard assessment trolley, and if a patient needs to stay longer than 24 hours, efforts are made to transfer them to a bed.
After averaging around 50 waits per month of more than 24 hours during last December-April, numbers have fallen, and there were no waits of more than 24 hours during July and August.
Comments are closed on this article.