A major new report commissioned by the Assembly Government recommends that a neurology centre be based in North Wales. The independent report by consultant neurosurgeon James Steers also says that patients should continue to receive planned and emergency neurosurgery at regional specialist centres in England.
It says that neurology patients with complex diagnostic or treatment requirements will need to be managed by the Walton Centre. [edit been there trying to die apparently ;) Was scary that the Tories were trying to suggest that Welsh Labour's review was going to mean the end of cross-border treatments (but it's not below them (The Conservative Party) to suggest such is it?)] Many patients will be managed within their local district general hospital in North Wales, including some who will require intensive care. In these circumstances a named consultant which will usually be one of the consultants covering the district general hospital would be identified as the primary liaison between the local hospital and the neuroscience unit.
The report on adult neurosciences services in North Wales is the first of a series of reports on the future of neurosciences services across Wales. It says:
- A North Wales Neurology Service should be established to deliver medical neurology, stroke management and neurophysiology, with enhanced services at other hospitals across the region;
- The North Wales Neurology Service should be based at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, Bodelwyddan with enhanced services at Ysbyty Gwynedd, Bangor and Wrexham-Maelor Hospital.
- An inpatient neurorehabilitation centre should be established [edit: excellent]; and,
- A non-complex spinal surgery services should be established.
Accepting the recommendations, Health Minister Edwina Hart, said: "My aim is to provide patients with access to as many healthcare services as locally as possible where they can be provided safely and effectively. Where they cannot be delivered locally, and for highly specialised treatments, which may only be offered at a few regional centres across the UK, patients will always have to travel to receive this care in England."
"I am pleased to receive Mr Steers' report which clearly sets out how I can improve services for patients. I have now asked the Health and Social Services North Wales Regional Office to co-ordinate the development of a costed implementation plan for these recommendations. These should be implemented within five years so that patients can start to receive more and improved services locally, reducing the need to travel. These recommendations will also help improve care for people living with Parkinson's Disease, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis and stroke."
""I have been disappointed that over the last year there have been many inaccurate stories about the review and the potential outcome. Many said that people would be compelled to travel to South Wales for this life-saving treatment. My aim was always to improve services for patients in North Wales. This report does that."
[edit: Scare stories about the severe erosion of treatment for North Wales neurological cases were put around by local Tories. I went to a meeting to listen to one such crock of it, chaired by a North Wales Tory MP. Total scaremongering, as I said at the meeting, (the first time I'd ever really spoken in front of a crowd since relearning how to speak.)]
Report of the Welsh Neuroscience External Expert Review Group:Recommendations for North Wales
But that's not all...
"Labour's Assembly Health Minister Edwina Hart today unveiled plans to simplify the NHS structure in Wales and meet the Welsh Assembly Government's commitment to end the internal market.
Following a 12-week consultation on changing the structure of the NHS in Wales, the emerging view is to create single local health organisations that would be responsible for delivering all healthcare services within a geographical area, rather than the Trust and Local Health Board system currently operating. There was also agreement that there should be one organisation serving North Wales. Therefore, the Welsh Assembly Government will consult further in the Autumn on creating seven new organisations to take on the functions currently carried out by both NHS Trusts and the 22 Local Health Boards."
This move follows on nicely from my blog entry a few days ago talking of the recent Compass event I'd been to (drove myself to! :) saying that "public services such as health NEED to be to some extent 'planned' (yes, a very worrying piece of raw communism there for the more right-wing reader)"
Both news items released today from the Labour-led Welsh Assembly Government, and summarised at the Vale of Clwyd Constituency Labour Party Welsh Assembly news page.