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Betsi Cadwaladr vascular service changes could ‘cost lives’

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Plans to centralise vascular services in north Wales have been criticised with a warning patients’ lives could be put at risk.

Arfon AM Sian Gwenllian has claimed Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board wants to move some services at Ysbyty Gwynedd and Wrexham Maelor Hospital to Ysbyty Glan Clwyd in Bodelwyddan.

She said such a move would have an impact on north-west Wales.

The health board said it is looking to create a specialist vascular unit.

Speaking to Newyddion 9, Ms Gwenllian said:”If the vascular service goes elsewhere the expertise goes with it, meaning a compromised service for north-west Wales.

“This is yet another example of services creeping eastwards.”

Her concerns have been backed up by a consultant physician at Ysbyty Gwynedd’s renal unit at the hospital.

Risks

Dr Mahdi Jibani said other services at Bangor could be affected by any decision to centralise the vascular service, which he described as a “world-renowned department”.

He added: “This is an integrated service, and other aspects of what we do here would be threatened – radiology, urology and gastroenterology to name just a few.”

Ken Jones of the North Wales Kidney Association said: “If this service goes, it will cost lives, there’s no two ways about it.”

In a statement the health board confirmed plans to create a specialist vascular unit in north Wales, but would not confirm where it would be.

It said that the majority of vascular services would continue to be carried out on three sites – Ysbyty Gwynedd, Glan Clwyd, and Wrexham Maelor.

The board’s executive medical director Dr Evan Moore added: “Units such as these – which provide a hub for major vascular arterial operations – are being created across the UK, and there is strong evidence that such sites improve clinical outcomes and patient safety, whilst attracting the best staff staff and help to develop the best infrastructure.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-37412259

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