Welsh Government and Betsi Cadwaldr have issued a response to Sarah Atherton's calls for an inquiry into healthcare management in North Wales.

On Monday (January 10), the MP for Wrexham announced she had written a letter to Welsh Government requesting an inquiry take place into the management of healthcare in North Wales after stating that a specific inquiry was needed to understand “where mistakes are being made."

Ms Atherton's specific worries were regarding her constituency in Wrexham, where she said residents "lack confidence in local healthcare services."

In response to Ms Atherton's requests, 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.

"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."

Gill Harris, Deputy Chief Executive and Executive Director of Integrated Clinical Deivery at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, said: “Winter is always a challenging time and the demands on our health and social care system have never been greater than this pandemic period.

“Over the last few months there has been an unprecedented demand on health and social care services across North Wales, which is leading to significant delays in care provision and pressure on our emergency services.

“Our staff are doing their very best to continue to deliver essential services during these challenging times but there is difficulty in discharging medically-fit patients from hospital and this is leading to significant bed shortages. Together with winter pressures and increasing challenges with COVID this is having an impact on planned surgery being able to go ahead and longer delays to be seen in our Emergency Departments.

“We encourage Sarah Atherton to make contact with us so we can discuss her concerns.”