Chester hospital refuses to admit non-emergency Welsh patients in funding row

(© Copyright Dennis Turner and licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence BY-SA-2.0)

On April 4th, the Countess of Chester Hospital announced it will suspend treating non-emergency patients from north-east Wales after accusing the Welsh Government and Betsi Cadwaladr health board of “unresolved funding issues”.

The hospital will continue to receive maternity and emergency patients as it’s currently the closest general hospital to patients in Flintshire. Existing appointments will be honoured. As of April 29th, no resolution has been found and GPs in north-east Wales raised serious concerns about lack of capacity at Wrexham Maelor and Glan Clwyd hospitals to deal with additional referrals.

In retaliation, the First Minister said the Welsh Government will no longer provide funding to the hospital. No concerns have been raised about cross-border health funding for patients from Powys who travel to Shrewsbury, Telford and Hereford for treatment.

The First Minister said: “Over the period of devolution, there are regular suggestions from English providers that sometimes Wales doesn’t pay our bills. Every time that has been looked at that, that has turned out not to be true. We have always paid our bills.”