The Countess of Chester NHS Foundation Trust is no longer going to treat patients from Wales except in emergency or maternity situations. The decision is economical. Welsh patients referred by their GPs come with less funding than English patients. The funding is managed by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and NHS England respectively. Last year 20% of the hospital’s patients were from Wales.
The Countess of Chester is just a few miles from the border of Wales so the decision could affect thousands of Flintshire residents. The fear is that other hospitals along the Welsh border could take a similar stance.
Our concern is that this situation could lead to delays in treatment and an overstretched service in the areas that are adjacent to the English/Welsh border. The extra pressure could lead to an increase in medical accidents and a delay in the diagnosis of serious conditions. Both could have potentially devastating effects on patient’s lives and the outcome of their treatment. If patients feel that they have been affected in this way we encourage them to seek advice. We are clinical negligence specialists and can help.