Plans have been uncovered for fewer staff in emergency departments in North Wales’ troubled health board, Betsi Cadwaladr.

An internal document referring to the western area of the health board, calls for an “urgent” plan to meet a £250k reduction in seasonal plan funding ahead of the busy winter months.

A ‘staffing review’ – according to the leaked email – was agreed with money for some nurses being scrapped.

Last winter, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health board posted the worst A&E performance figures of all Wales’ health boards, with extensive ambulance delays outside hospitals and patients spending days in emergency departments instead of hours.

Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health in the National Assembly, Welsh Conservative Angela Burns AM said:

“This is damning proof that the Welsh Labour Government are failing to deliver the NHS the people of North Wales need.

“After over three years in special measures and despite being under direct Welsh Government control, Betsi Cadwaladr has not improved, demonstrating a huge dereliction of duty by the Labour Government of Wales.

“Nurses are the mainstay of frontline care in the health service, often working extra shifts to cover shortages and at a time when even the welsh government recognises we don’t have enough staff it is simply inconceivable that plans are afoot to cut staff numbers, especially in the north where services are in desperate need of improvement.

“To even consider cutting funding in emergency departments is shocking and demonstrates that the Welsh Labour Government have lost touch with reality as well as losing touch with the people of Wales and those who voted them into office.

“When considering savings it might behove all those keen to reduce front line staff to remember the stresses and pressures those staff are under, the needs of patients, the rights to quality of care for staff and patients alike and set that against the salaries of the executive team.�