Patients have been left in agony, others have missed out on jobs, and some have lost relationships amid long waits for hospital operations.

These are just some of the human costs faced by patients waiting months for treatment, an independent health and social care services scrutiny body has revealed.

Following the pandemic, the number of people waiting more than 52 weeks for treatment has “dramatically increased”, the North Wales Community Health Council said. It is now calling for north Wales residents to share their experiences of waiting.

The public scrutiny body, which has fought for patients rights for around 50 years, has organised a number of events across the region. It is one of the last campaigns organised by the NWCHC in its current format, before it is disbanded on Friday, 31 March.

In April 2023, it will be absorbed into Llais, a Welsh Government scheme, which aims to give a voice to patients through its developing Citizens Voice Body.

NWCHC is currently trying to get “as much done a as possible”, before the changeover, its chief off­icer said.

It published a survey on the effects of long waits for operations in 2018. The report, titled Our Lives on Hold, describes the human cost of long waits for treatment.

The organisation campaigns for the Welsh Government to fund initiatives to reduce waiting times.

Geoff Ryall-Harvey, chief officer for NWCHC said: “We’ve heard of people in chronic pain, from those who had lost jobs due to their inability to work.

“People also told us about damaged relationships and being unable to participate in family life, such as looking after grandchildren or going on a holiday.”

Now the NWCHC wants to hear how this currently affects patients and families, lives and well-being. It hopes to be able to “build the case” for additional resources to clear waiting lists and return to pre-pandemic waiting times – “hopefully better than that within two years,” Mr Ryall-Harvey added.

NWCHC will hold face-to-face and online events inviting patients, their carers and families to talk about their experience of waiting for operations. Comments can also be made through email, social media, and by telephone.

An event will take place at Y Ganolfan Porthmadog, 10.30am, on 27 March, and on Zoom at 7pm on 28 March.

To attend, register in advance on: 01248 679284 (leave a message), email [email protected] or visit