A&E doctor calls for 'dramatic change' to fix the health and social care crisis
An A&E doctor at a North Wales hospital has called for "dramatic change" to improve the "grim" state of hospitals across the UK.
Dr Phil Morgan, an Emergency Medical Consultant at Ysbyty Gwynedd, said the current situation is "grim, overcrowded and stressful."
This comes after Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) declared a "critical incident" yesterday (Monday 2 January) across hospitals in North Wales, caused by unprecedented demand.
According to Dr Morgan, the situation at the Ysbyty Gwynedd Hospital in Bangor "has never been this bad."
He told ITV Wales: "The whole system isn't properly resourced and it's very difficult to keep going at the moment.
"It used to be a big deal when there was a four hour wait to move a patient to the ward, now it's a four day wait."
Dr Morgan said the A&E department was really crowded.
"There's loads of patients that are in areas that are not normally used for bedding down patients.
"Some patients are in corridors waiting to go to the ward, some patients are sitting in the waiting room who really ought to be in a trolley. It's pretty grim, congested and stressful," he said.
The NHS 111 Wales helpline also experienced unprecedented demand, with a record number of calls received in one day on Tuesday 27th December.
Wales' Chief Medical Officer Frank Atherton said Wales' hospitals were under unprecedented pressure before the new year as health boards across the country urged people to avoid emergency departments unless they were experiencing life threatening illness.
BCUHB is Wales' biggest health board and runs three major hospitals - Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, Ysbyty Gwynedd and Wrexham Maelor Hospital.
Dr Morgan stated that the issue of social care has been particularly challenging when coping with high demand.
"[There are] 400 beds in this hospital and 80 of them are occupied by patients who are stranded in the system because they can't get the care they need either in their own home or a nursing care home, so that extra occupancy makes it very difficult," he said.
Despite the "critical incident" across hospitals in North Wales and the unprecedented demand, Dr Morgan thanked the public and local GPs around Bangor for using the Emergency Department responsibly and stressed that "it's open 24 hours for everyone".
However, for the situation to improve he said there needs to be an "increase in resources for social care.
"We need to do something dramatic, something really big needs to happen in social care to allow patients to go home."