Orthopaedic waiting times nowhere near what is acceptable, says Rhun ap Iorwerth

Waiting times of over 100 weeks for patients requiring orthopaedic surgery under Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board are nowhere near what is acceptable to patients and action needs to be taken urgently, according to Plaid Cymru AM for Ynys Môn Rhun ap Iorwerth.

The Assembly Member raised the matter of orthopaedic waiting times in a question to the Health Minister this week and said that it is time to realise special measures in themselves are not enough for Betsi Cadwaladr, with steps needing to be taken quickly to improve the situation.

Mr ap Iorwerth said:

“The Health Minister says that he is disappointed that people are waiting too long. It’s worth taking a moment just to think what exactly ‘too long’ means with regards to orthopaedic waiting times.

“I wrote to the Betsi Cadwaladr health board and received a response on 8 April on behalf of a patient waiting for a new knee. The response said that some 2,200 patients were awaiting orthopaedic treatment and that waiting times for elective surgery was around 100 weeks. A fortnight later, I got a response saying that waiting times for knee operations or hip operations were more than 110 weeks.

“This at any level isn’t anywhere near what is acceptable. Isn’t it time for us now to realise that special measures in themselves are not enough and that we need to move to some sort of crisis measures for Betsi Cadwaladr, or to seriously consider whether the single health board model for north Wales is fit for purpose?”