Llanelli Labour Assembly Member, Keith Davies has used a question to the Government Business Minister Lesley Griffiths to call upon the Minister for Health and Social Services to make a statement on orthopaedic surgery in mid and west Wales.
Keith’s request follows the official announcement by Hywel Dda Health Board to reduce the number of elective orthopaedic operations to emergency cases in order to better cope with winter pressures which resulted in the opening of additional surge beds at all four hospital sites in the Hywel Dda area last winter.
Whilst Keith Davies has received several calls and emails from worried residents he is asking those on the waiting list for knee or hip surgery to get in touch with him, so that he can establish the true extent of situation and its effect on patients locally.
Transcript of the plenary session – 22nd October 2013:
Keith Davies: I was also concerned yesterday at the statement of Hywel Dda Local Health Board on elective orthopaedic surgery. As the AM for Llanelli, I have rightly received calls from staff and patients, who raised concerns with me late last week and over the weekend.
I wish to ask the Minister for Health and Social Services for a statement on how he will monitor and evaluate Hywel Dda’s plans to ensure that emergency cases are treated and that unscheduled care is not affected against predicted winter pressures at Prince Philip Hospital and adjoining hospitals and that there is no added pressure on social care services.
I would also like details on the proper methods for deciding changes and their time frame. In recent times, the health board has been far from transparent in communicating changes to staff and to members of the public. I would be grateful
Deputy Presiding Officer: Order. I cannot hear what the Member is saying, and I take a dim view of the opposition parties doing this when a Government backbencher is scrutinising his own Government. I would have thought that a pretty high function to be performed here.
Keith Davies: I would be grateful for the statement to clarify whether there are implications on the proposal for a centre of excellence for orthopaedics at the Prince Philip Hospital.
Lesley Griffiths: You will have heard the First Minister state the correct position regarding Hywel Dda health board. It is important that health boards prepare for winter pressures. I do not think that it is fair then that we criticise them when they consider all options. I am sure that, at the appropriate time, when the Minister for Health and Social Services has had time to look at all the winter plans, he will come forward with a statement.