Wrexham’s MP, Sarah Atherton, has called on the Welsh Government to launch an inquiry into the management of health care in North Wales and Wrexham.

In a letter to Eluned Morgan, the Welsh Government Minister for Health and Social Services, Ms Atherton said that residents “lack confidence in local healthcare services” and that a specific inquiry was needed to ensure that the Welsh Government understands “where mistakes are being made” in order to rectify them.

The letter follows the news that waiting times at A&E across North Wales have grown, with the health board now the worst performing in Wales. In November 2021, only 62 per cent of attendees at A&E in across North Wales were seen within four hours.

Within North Wales, the Wrexham Maelor was the worst performing hospital. At the Maelor, only 42 per cent of patients were seen within four hours and only 76 per cent were seen within twelve.

Across North Wales, waiting times for treatment has also increased. In August 2021, there were 138,964 people waiting for treatment across the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board area, compared with 102,629 in August 2019.

Commenting on her support for an inquiry into the management of the NHS in Wrexham, Ms Atherton said:

“Healthcare access and outcomes in Wrexham are getting worse: residents cannot access their GPs, A&E wait times are soaring and the time it takes to receive routine treatment is worryingly long.

"Another area of concern is pain management, where people are left suffering for years, and A&E. I have casework of people waiting over 18 hours in A&E despite being referred by their GP and patients without vital medication for weeks due to not being able to obtain a prescription.

“Residents in Wrexham feel that they are getting a second-rate service in Wales thanks to the mismanagement of the healthcare system under Welsh Labour and Ministers in Cardiff must recognise this. To give residents confidence in their healthcare, a inquiry must be held to understand where the issues lie.”

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “Our NHS is facing its toughest winter ever and our hardworking staff continue to show unwavering commitment to delivering high-quality care.

"We have committed £1bn this Senedd term to helping the NHS recover from the pandemic and to treat people as quickly as possible.

"However increasing challenges from Covid and winter pressures, together with high staff absence rates caused by the pandemic, mean referral to treatment times have unfortunately risen.

"The NHS will continue to support those who are waiting for treatment, and are establishing services to support individuals to better manage any symptoms.

"Our immediate focus is now on ensuring we deal with this next difficult phase of the pandemic so people continue to receive urgent care when they need it.

“We all need to work together to support our health and social care services and help us to help you this winter. Simple things like visiting local pharmacies or minor injuries units for advice on minor health concerns, checking symptoms online using the NHS 111 Wales website can make a big difference to our NHS and help people look after their health this winter.”