A WOMAN from Rhos-on-Sea has told of her three-month-long struggle to book an urgent appointment to investigate a lump in her breast.

The woman, who asked not to be named, had waited 11 weeks for an appointment at the breast clinic at Glan Clwyd Hospital in Rhyl, before contacting Rhoslan Surgery in Colwyn Bay last week.

She was told by her surgery that a referral had been sent to the hospital in late March, only for Glan Clwyd to tell her they had not received it and direct her to Ysbyty Gwynedd, Bangor.

She was then advised by Rhoslan Surgery to contact Llandudno General Hospital, who also had no record of a referral for her.

The woman has now managed to book an appointment for next week to investigate the lump in her breast, at Llandudno General Hospital, but added: “I leave you to imagine my stress level”.

It comes a fortnight after the MS for Clwyd West, Darren Millar, demanded an urgent meeting with Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) following complaints that Rhoslan Surgery is not delivering for patients.


MS highlights residents’ concerns regarding NHS-run Colwyn Bay GP surgery

She said: “After waiting 11 weeks for an urgent appointment at Glan Clwyd Hospital’s breast clinic and hearing nothing, I rang Rhoslan Surgery on June 14, where they assured me that a referral had been sent to Glan Clwyd on March 29.

“At their request, I rang the hospital to find they had not received a referral and was directed to phone Ysbyty Gwynedd, who also had no evidence of a referral.

“I rang the surgery again to be told they had sent it to Llandudno General Hospital. I rang there, and they also had no sign of me on their list.

“At my final call to Rhoslan Surgery, I was told: ‘We’re very sorry; we have no idea what happened. We have spoken to Llandudno General Hospital and you should get an appointment soon’.

“I leave you to imagine my stress level.”

Prior to the booking of her appointment, the woman added: “It was only after I had informed them that I had contacted Llandudno Hospital with no sign of a referral that they sprang into action with an apology and the promise that I would get an appointment soon.”

Late last year, Rhoslan Surgery was transferred to BCUHB to be run as a managed practice.

Since then, Mr Millar has received constant complaints from residents about the surgery, and met with BCUHB in March to raise such issues.

Mr Millar said: “The current situation at the surgery is unacceptable and seems to be getting worse.

“I have been inundated in recent months by constituents who are dissatisfied with Rhoslan Surgery and I am concerned that the problems they describe could lead to patients coming to harm.

“When staff there are run off their feet due to recruitment problems, it inevitably increases the risks of mistakes and patients coming to harm.

“The difficulties patients experience getting through on the phone and accessing appointments is causing a great deal of anxiety and frustration.

“I have referred this issue to Healthcare Inspectorate Wales for them to take action to ensure that patients are safe.”

Gill Harris, executive director for integrated clinical services at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, apologised for the difficulties the woman faced in booking her appointment.

She also added that she would be happy to meet Mr Millar to discuss concerns regarding Rhoslan Surgery, adding that BCUHB is seeking a new GP partnership to take its contract on.

She said: “We would like to sincerely apologise for the delay in arranging this appointment.

“This is not the level of service we want to offer and would like to encourage our patient to contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service so we can look into this further.

“We took on the management of Rhoslan Surgery on December 1, 2021, following the resignation of the previous contract holder.

“We are seeking a new GP partnership to take on the practice contract and we hope to make a recommendation during the summer.

"We have asked the Royal College of General Practitioners to undertake a supportive peer review of the GP surgery which will start shortly, advising us on additional measures we can take to improve services.

“Our chief executive, Jo Whitehead, and vice chair, Lucy Reid, met Mr Millar in March to brief him on the actions taken and will, of course, be happy to meet him again.”