Lack of doctors in Wales puts A&E in jeopardy

  • February 11, 2020
  • Severe staff shortages

    The retirement of the only full-time A&E consultant at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, Wales, has meant three A&E services could not be “sustained beyond the immediate short-term”. Severe staff shortages have meant current arrangements could not continue without compromising patient safety, according to the Cwm Taf Morgannwg health board.

    Dr Nick Lyons, the board’s medical director, said most doctors in the Royal Glamorgan’s A&E department were temporary staff which brought “very real safety issues” because the health board could not ensure training and development or “effective team working”.

    On Christmas Day and Boxing Day 2019, ambulances were diverted from the Royal Glamorgan Hospital to Prince Charles Hospital because of a lack of doctors.

    Staffing levels at all Cwm Taf Morgannwg’s A&E units – at the Royal Glamorgan, Prince Charles Hospital and the Princess of Wales Bridgend – are well below UK-wide standards.

    Plans to rearrange some south Wales services have been in the pipeline since 2014.


    Approximately 200 people protested outside the health board, which agreed to work on plans to close Royal Glamorgan Hospital’s A&E completely or overnight.

    The board said such action was needed to avoid “unacceptable risk to patient safety”, but it agreed to “leave no stone unturned” in seeing if steps could be put in place in order to maintain the current A&E set-up.

    Protestors said that not having “a fully functioning A&E is not acceptable…it’s a danger to the health and wellbeing of the Rhondda residents.”

    Uncertainty impacts patients

    Elizabeth Wickson of Medical Accident Group said: “The current uncertainty of the A&E service at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital must be very distressing for residents and those dependent on its service.

    “Not to have a local A&E department, and therefore have to travel a considerable distance to access the required care, is stress that patients should not be experiencing and could impact on the eventual care provided.”

    If you or a family member have suffered due to A&E failings and wish to pursue a claim, Medical Accident Group is here to help. We have a team of dedicated clinical negligence solicitors who will guide you through the process of making a claim. We have considerable experience in this field – please contact the team on 0800 050 1668 or email us at [email protected].

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