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'Still much to do' to improve services, says health board

The health board says it has taken 'immediate action' to ensure heart patients most in need are seen. These measures include:

  • recruiting extra medical and nursing staff
  • introducing weekend working
  • ring-fencing surgical beds
  • replacing critical cardiac theatre equipment
  • using services elsewhere to tackle long heart surgery waiting lists.

There has been an incredible amount of work to improve surgical services over the last year and things have moved on considerably.

However, we do know what there is still much to do and we are only at the start of delivering our ambitious proposals.

– Dr Graham Shortland, Cardiff and Vale Health Board Medical Director

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£2.4m to help tackle surgical waiting lists

The health board is investing £2.4million in cutting its surgical waiting lists Credit: UWE ANSPACH/dpa

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board is investing £2.4million to tackle surgical waiting lists.

The health board plans to increase the number of heart surgery procedures carried out each year to 1,000.

It hopes that number will rise to 1,300 with additional medical and nursing staff and cardiac intensive care beds.

Concerns were raised over surgical services at the board's hospitals last year. A team from the Royal College of Surgeons recently visit the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff and noted that while there was substantial work to do, improvements had already been made.

Health board responds to Ann Clwyd's call

“We have not released the report and it is not our intention to release the report in full or breach confidentiality. We have received a number of requests under Freedom of Information legislation to release the full report all of which we have refused based on legal advise.

“We have recently been asked, again under FOI legislation, to release a summary of the report. The health board has an obligation in law to consider this request and sought external legal advice on how to respond. Based on that expert advice the health board responded last week to the request restricting the response to those statements already in the public domain and the outcome of the investigation.

“We have since been asked by Miss Clwyd not to widely share that information and therefore it would be inappropriate to comment further until we have been able to meet with her solicitors in person.”

– Cardiff and Vale University Health Board spokesman

People asked to think twice before visiting hospital's Emergency unit

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board has tonight asked local people for support and to think twice before coming to the University Hospital of Wales' Emergency Unit.

It follows what they call an unprecedented influx of patients over the past 48 hours.

UHB Medical Director Dr. Graham Shortland said the health board was asking for support from the public to reduce the pressure on clinical teams, so they could focus on caring for the sickest patients.

While the sickest and most vulnerable patients are being seen promptly and there are no significant ambulance delays, we would like to ask local people to help us by not coming to hospital with minor illnesses or minor injuries that can be easily dealt with.

Patients who do come to the Emergency Unit with these minor conditions can expect significant waits for treatment, because we are mobilising our resources and focusing our energies on those patients with the greatest clinical need.

This is not a new message, and we ask people throughout the year to make sensible use of the Emergency Unit, but this is even more important when we have so many seriously ill patients at this time of year who need our care the most.”

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Many 'not aware' about eligibility for free flu jab

Doctors at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board are concerned that a large number of vulnerable people have not had their flu jab.

Many people under 65 are eligible for a free flu jab but are not aware.

Free jabs are available to those who are at the greatest risk of flu, including pregnant women and those with a long-term medical condition such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease

Flu spreads easily, and can cause serious illnesses such as bronchitis, pneumonia and meningitis which can require hospital treatment.

– Dr Tom Porter, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

Doctors concerned over 'large number' without flu jab

flu jab
Many are not aware they are eligible for a free flu jab Credit: PA

Doctors at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board are concerned that a large number of vulnerable people have not had their flu jab.

According to the latest figures more than half of those at risk under 65 in Cardiff and the Vale have not yet had their jab.

Uptake in the area is well below the Welsh average.

People in at-risk groups are more likely to develop potentially serious complications of flu, such as bronchitis and pneumonia. These people should have a flu jab each year, the Health Board is warning.

42 calls to helpline for concerned Cardiff liver surgery patients

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board says there have been 42 calls to the helpline it set up for anyone who is concerned about the surgical care they received relating to liver surgery between February 2011 and October 2012.

The hotline has taken a number of calls, including some from other parts of the UK, and nursing staff have been providing information and reassurance to members of the public. We are also pleased that the two remaining families who we have been trying to contact for some time have been in touch and we can offer them appropriate support.

The helpline number is 0800 952 0244.

Read: Cardiff liver surgeon case referred to police

National

Trust commissions independent review into surgeon

University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust has commissioned an independent review into work of a suspended liver surgeon in Wales who previous worked at its hospitals.

In a statement, it said some of Professor David Berry's results were "lower than expected."

This is specialist surgery and there are a number of reasons why this might be the case, so rather than speculate we have asked the Royal College of Surgeons to carry out an independent, impartial review of Professor Berry’s cases and once that review is complete we will report back

– Dr Kevin Harris, Medical Director at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust

Professor Berry was suspended by Cardiff and Vale University Health Board after a review found the deaths of eight patients he operated on were "avoidable."

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