North Wales’ Liberal Democrat Assembly Member Aled Roberts says that centralising breast cancer surgery in Ysbyty Glan Clwyd from April this year as part of the announcement on maternity services two weeks ago has caused great concern to many cancer patients who will be forced to travel long distances.
“There appears to be have been no proper consultation with cancer patients from Gwynedd and Wrexham about this change which is the result of consultant-led maternity services being removed from Ysbyty Glan Clwyd and concentrated in Ysbyty Gwynedd and Wrexham Maelor,” commented Mr Roberts.
“Many patients and their families from the western and eastern extremities of North Wales will be forced to long distances to get to Glan Clwyd and in some cases it may well mean that women will be having life changing breast cancer surgery without the support of their families.
“I have been contacted by breast cancer patients who are very worried about these changes and the speed with which they are being implemented. I will be writing today to the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board to ask whether they have assessed the transport difficulties that these changes will create for many patients. It appears to me that they have considered the medical benefits without giving due consideration to what this may mean for people’s lives.
“In the long term I am very concerned that the Betsi Cadwaladr Board may be planning more urgent changes to medical services as a result of problems recruiting staff. Will more services be concentrated in one or two hospitals?
"Wouldn’t it be better for the Board to be honest about their future plans? I am planning to raise these issues with senior managers at Betsi Cadwaladr and will report back with their response.”