There was an 11% increase in patients waiting in ambulances for over an hour outside two of north Wales’ three acute hospitals in December, figures show. In total, 893 patients were affected, up by 89 from 804 in November. Glan Clwyd Hospital in Bodelwyddan, Denbighshire, and Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor saw increases while Wrexham Maelor had fewer people waiting. A health board report said the number of beds and staff had been increased to tackle the issue. Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board chief operating officer Morag Olsen said staff had been deployed to support patients waiting in ambulances with “care being commenced for many whilst they waited for space to be made available”. “The pressure has continued into January and we anticipate that we will see only a gradual reduction,” she said in the report which will be considered by the board on Thursday. Last month, Dr Andrew Goodall, the head of the NHS in Wales, said the service as a whole had faced “exceptional” challenges this winter. A&E monthly waiting time figures are due to be published on Thursday.

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