Reacting angrily to the Hywel Dda Health Board’s intention to close ward six in Prince Philip Hospital, and to suspend all in-patient orthopaedic surgery for six months, Nia Griffith MP said,
“ I am shocked at the news that the Hywel Dda Health Board is reducing in-patient orthopaedic surgery to a summer –only service, and I am horrified at the thought of many patients being told they can add another six months’ wait to the estimated date for their surgery. These are patients who may already have had a long wait, and who may be in considerable pain, and may also, in the case of knees and hips, have major difficulties in moving around.
Whilst of course we must be grateful that those whose surgery only requires them to be day-patients (and not in-patients) will continue to get their operations done, this could lead to the ridiculous situation of some possibly less serious operations taking precedence over more serious, so how does this fit in with respecting the clinicians’ expert view on what is urgent? Can we honestly expect to retain highly qualified orthopaedic surgeons if these are the conditions under which they are asked to work?
People in Llanelli will see this as a real betrayal. One of the points the Health Board made to us time and time again in the heated discussions on the future of services at Prince Philip Hospital was that we were to have a flagship orthopaedic service in Llanelli, and now they do this. There have got to be better ways of managing winter pressures on the health service.
I am calling on the Health Board to rethink this drastic decision, and develop a more flexible approach. “