South Wales Central AM seeks clarification over service changes

The decision to centralise services for certain types of chest surgery in South Wales will have implications for local patients, South Wales Central AM Andrew RT Davies has said.

At present – patients in Cardiff, the Vale and RCT requiring thoracic surgery – including on the heart and lungs – are treated at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff.

However – the provision of thoracic surgery is set to be centralised at Morriston Hospital in Swansea – meaning patients will have to travel far further.

Mr Davies has sought clarification over the decision – pointing out that Morriston has some of the worst A&E waiting times in Wales – and fears it may not be able to cope with the additional demand.

In a Written Assembly Question to Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services Vaughan Gething – he asked why Morriston was chosen as a suitable location – and what factors were taken into account.

Mr Davies said, “Patients across Cardiff, the Vale and RCT will be concerned by the news that they may need to travel further for surgery – so it’s important the matter is clarified.

“Thoracic surgery – including on the heart and lungs – is currently undertaken at the Heath Hospital in Cardiff – but this is set to move to Swansea under the plans.

“Morriston is already under notable pressures – with some of the worst A&E waiting times in Wales – so it remains to be seen whether they can cope with further increased demand.

“I’ve therefore tabled a question to the Cabinet Secretary – asking him to outline what factors were taken into consideration when making the decision – and why Morriston was chosen as a suitable location.

“It’s vital this matter is clarified to improve patient confidence across South Wales.”

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Nathan Spackman

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