More than 1,200 patients on orthopaedic waiting lists in for over a year in north Wales

Bangor medical school could be part of answer

The scandal of more than 1,200 patients made to wait more than 12 months for orthopaedic treatment in north Wales shows Labour’s failure to properly plan and manage the NHS, Plaid Cymru Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care Rhun ap Iorwerth has said.

The latest figures show that more than 1,200 patients waited more than 53 weeks for treatment to begin in the Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board area. Yesterday’s announcement that the Labour government don’t see a case for a Bangor Medical School is another blow.

Plaid Cymru Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care Rhun ap Iorwerth said:

“Across Wales, orthopaedic patients are forced to wait too long for the treatment they need. But in north Wales, the problem is severe. These are patients who are often in chronic pain and have limited mobility. Forcing them to wait more than a year for treatment is simply unforgivable.

“Waiting times for orthopaedic treatments in north Wales have been scandalously long for a long time now, and every time I have raised this issue with the Cabinet Secretary we have been assured a corner has been turned. But no real evidence of improvement has appeared in the statistics.

“A recent board paper for Betsi Cadwaladr indicated that increasing the number of training places is essential to strengthen the service, yet yesterday the Labour government scrapped its plans for a medical school in north Wales.

“If we are to drive up the number of doctors who work in Wales then we need to increase the number of people who train here. Clearly, Labour isn’t serious about reaching that goal.”