A WOMAN has told of her 85-year-old Llandudno mother’s lengthy wait to receive an appointment to see a dermatology consultant.

The woman, who asked for them to both be anonymous, said her mother’s general practitioner (GP) referred her to a dermatologist in August 2022 after complaining of a skin rash.

She obtained an appointment with a dermatology consultant at Ysbyty Gwynedd, Bangor for December 2022, but this was cancelled due to the consultant’s ill health.

Since then, she said, her mother has remained on a waiting list.


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The woman said: “My sister and I have both periodically rung up to find out where she is on the waiting list, to be told she wasn’t a priority at one point.

“We kept ringing and, eventually, were told in about January 2024 she was on the ‘as soon as possible list’, but that it could still take up to three years, which I was very surprised to hear.

“At that point, my mum had been back and forth to her GP about 12 times, so by then, I just thought it was ludicrous.”

The woman said she has contacted Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB)’s Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) regarding her mother’s wait.

Since doing so, she has agreed for her mother’s story to presented as a case study to BCUHB’s board of executives.

She added: “I’ve just had enough of it. It’s not acceptable when you can’t get an appointment for a vulnerable 85-year-old patient.

“It affects her quality of life. She lives on her own. It hasn’t been diagnosed, the skin condition, but it’s recurring, unpleasant and unsightly.

“She ends up with blood stains all over her sheets and towels which she has to manage herself.

“It’s not acceptable that there’s no solution in place. Going back to an already-stretched GP service is not the answer.

“My mum continues to suffer. I just want her to be seen by a dermatologist; it’s as simple as that.

“This situation cannot continue. It upsets and angers me – why should I see my mum in this situation?”

Janet Finch-Saunders, MS for Aberconwy (the constituency in which the woman’s mother lives) has also been contacted about this matter.

This, she said, is one of several incidents involving her constituents where prolonged waiting times to see a dermatology consultant are being experienced.

Mrs Finch-Saunders said: “It is heartbreaking to see our health board under such strain. The state of healthcare in North Wales is still going from bad to worse, with people waiting longer and longer for care.

“I know of individuals facing waits as long as five years to see a consultant dermatologist. That is a disgrace.

“BCUHB is practically on its knees, and trivial suggestions like asking GPs to step in shows a complete lack of understanding and foresight.

“The solutions I have asked for include cooperating with hospitals in North West England, or private providers, with the costs, of course, to be met by the Welsh NHS, and in particular the failing North Wales health board.”

In response, Dr Nick Lyons, BCUHB’s executive medical director, apologised for the long waits that patients are experiencing for dermatology appointments.

He said: “Despite it being a very competitive field, we are looking at solutions for recruiting to these posts.

“I’m really concerned to hear of this patient’s case, which reminds us how important this is. I will take a look at the details of it to understand how we can offer additional support during this difficult time.

“In the meantime we have increased capacity for clinically urgent and suspected skin cancer patients. Specialist GPs with an interest in skin cancer continue to provide valuable community support to our dermatology service.

“Waiting times for other patients are, unfortunately, still longer than we would wish.

“We have engaged extra locum consultants in the east and central areas of the health board, and our aim is to offer patients from Anglesey and Gwynedd out of areas clinic appointments for those who need consultant-led care.

“Nurse-led dermatology review clinics continue as normal at Ysbyty Gwynedd, Ysbyty Alltwen, Ysbyty Penrhos Stanley and Llandudno Hospital.”