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Sunday, February 14, 2021

Llangollen man's concerns over hospital's Covid safety

* Wrexham Maelor Hospital.

A Llangollen man says he and his wife were “appalled” at the lack of social distancing apparent in the accident and emergency department at Wrexham Maelor Hospital when they took their young grandson there following an accident recently. 

Their concern follows a story carried by local media last week which said that, after a remote quality check last November, inspectors from the Healtcare Inspectorate Wales found a lack of safety measures to stop people catching Covid in the A&E waiting room.


The Llangollen resident, who wishes not to be identified, said: “My grandson had a minor accident when he pulled a chest of drawers over on himself.


“My daughter and wife took him to A&E at Wrexham which involved over a four-hour wait before he was seen by a doctor.


“My wife was appalled at the situation there because there were very few social distancing measures in place or organisation of patients visiting and policing those measures in view of the seriousness of the pandemic.


“I therefore wrote to Vaughan Gethin, the Health Minister, to alert him to this dangerous situation which existed in Wrexham, and eventually received a total whitewash email from some minion at the Welsh Government.


“Imagine my disgust therefore at reading the article about the situation at the Maelor on because clearly these issues were being investigated by an inspector presumably appointed by the Welsh Government.”


He added: “The serious footnote to this is that about a week or so after his visit to A&E my grandson developed a nasty viral infection which proved not to be Covid, as far as tests showed, but required investigation by our GP and referral to the paediatric department at Wrexham and treatment with antibiotics.


“We are convinced that my grandson contracted this infection at Wrexham A&E due to their total lack of infection control and serious imposition of social distancing measures at the department.


“One thing I would like to stress is the brilliant care we received from our GPs at the Health Centre.


“Our doctor went above and beyond by ringing my daughter several times during the day to check on my grandson and eventually seeing him a 9.15 in the evening. Then the following day his colleague referred him to the paediatric department to resolve the issue.” 

Maureen Wain, Hospital Director at Wrexham Maelor Hospital, said: “We have addressed concerns around social distancing in the department by investing heavily in social distancing measures, screening each patient on arrival by checking their temperature and checking for potential COVID-19 symptoms, and increasing cubicle capacity within the treatment and trolley space areas.

“A number of schemes have also been put in place to improve patient flow in the department. These include streaming suitable patients from triage directly through to our Fracture Clinic for review by the Orthopaedic Team, which provides more timely care. 

“We were also successful in obtaining Welsh Government funding for an Urgent Primary Care Centre in our Outpatient Department. This targets on the day urgent primary care presentations and reduces unnecessary attendances into the Emergency Department. 

“We will continue to work hard to address areas highlighted in the report where further improvements could be made.”

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