The area of the body dealt with in thoracic surgery

Patients from Penarth requiring chest or lung surgery will in future have to travel 43 miles to Morriston Hospital  near Swansea for  treatment.

The Cardiff and Vale University Health Board – subject to a “caveat” – has approved  a controversial  recommendation to move all Thoracic Surgery from the Heath Hospital in Cardiff to Morriston Hospital.

The board says that “after careful consideration of all of the issues and listening to the representations made from both the Senior Clinical Consultant body and the Community Health Council the Board approved all of the recommendations with the caveat that the issues raised above would be reviewed in six months’ time to ensure the issues relating to patient safety aligned with the provision of thoracic surgery cover at the Major Trauma Centre would be met.  It was stipulated that if those issues had not been met the Board would withdraw its approval”

Morriston Hospital near Swansea is to become the single location in South Wales for thoracic surgery

When the move is complete, all “Thoracic Surgery” [i.e surgery of the organs in the chest] will be carried out at Morriston Hospital – at the far end of the M4. [The original  consultation was publicised in local media and in an item on PDN  on June 30th 2018 – See ]

The decision has been made despite the results of a on-line and on-paper public consultation, in which the majority of respondents opposed the move

Out of 804 responses received the results were:-

  • 428 or 53.23% disagreed with the proposal.
  • 339 or 42.16% agreed with the proposal.
  • 34 or 4.23% neither agreed nor disagree with the proposal
  • 3 or 0.37% did not answer the question

The vast majority of people living in the Penarth, Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan –  served  by the University Hospital of Wales at the Heath in Cardiff –   were AGAINST the scheme .

Out of 335 local respondents 299 voted AGAINST the move to Morriston – but their wishes are being over-ruled by the Labour Party dominated Cardiff and Vale University Health Board which manages the NHS in the Cardiff and Penarth areas.

One respondent in the survey described the decision as “Insanity” . The writer said”Too far for major trauma patients to survive by moving it to Swansea. No way to be able to implement standards – 30 minutes standard is a safety issue. How are you going to provide 24/7 on-site thoracic cover within 30 minutes to the MTC [Morriston]  – impossible – patients will die because of this.”

Critics say it’s difficult to understand what the point was of carrying out a public consultation if the results are to be over-ridden and cast-aside.

Currently there are only 2 thoracic consultant surgeons in Morriston whereas in Cardiff there are 3  . The Cardiff and Vale University Health Board says:-

  • Over the last year, patients in Wales with lung cancer have waited longer
    than they should have for surgery
  •  Patients in Wales with lung cancer have some of the lowest survival rates
    in Europe – even though (as the Health Board says) “we have expert surgeons”
  • Patients who need surgery, but do not have lung cancer, have very long
    waiting times. The Health Board says “our doctors and nurses tell us this is affecting the quality of care they can provide”

The NHS in Wales is under the overall control of the Welsh Labour Government’s health minister –  Vaughan Gething (Labour AM for Cardiff South and Penarth) who is a former trade union solicitor.


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Penarth Daily News email address Penarth Daily News is an independent free on-line fair and balanced news service published by NewsNet Ltd covering the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, UK. All our news items are based on the information we receive or discover at the time of publication and are published on the basis that they are accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief at that time. Comments posted on the site by commentators reflect their opinions and are not necessarily shared, endorsed or supported by Penarth Daily News.
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  1. Peter Church says:

    Yes, The Public votes No but the MPs and AMs want to reverse the decision.
    Remind you of anything??
    Its democracy Jim but not as we know it!

    • Brian Pearce says:

      This was a public consultation intended to allow the public to bring issues to the attention of the committee, not a referendum. Since when as it been wise to allow laymen to override the recommendations of medical experts like the Royal College of Surgeons.

  2. Tim says:

    For a supposed capital city in the western world, Cardiff and its surrounding towns have facilities more reflective of the third world. Thanks Geiger.

  3. Jed says:

    Not just Geiger to blame here, though he makes things worse, this is what the public gets when it votes in conservative governments for the last 40 year’s.

  4. Phil Nedin says:

    If I am reading this correctly 299 voted out of 335 to maintain the service in Cardiff. This means they voted to “maintain the longer waiting times for lung cancer surgery” they voted to “maintain the low survival rates after surgery” and they voted to “ maintain the longer waiting times for non-cancer specialist surgery”. This means that they voted for no improvement in the system – business as usual. So it seems to me that it is a good job that the action taken by the Health Board did not agree with the vote. The system isn’t working and there needs to be a change!

  5. Timothy Hughes says:

    There seems to be some misunderstanding of the word consultation here, it seems entirely appropriate to consider public views but it may also seem appropriate to use scarse resources properly. If it takes 30mins to travel to Morriston then may be reasonably assumed the journey takes the same time the other way. With research led teaching hospitals in Swansea and Cardiff it may be appropriate to cluster kindred disciplines together. Democracy is exercised in choosing your representatives not in second guessing every decision they make.

    • Penarthian says:

      30 Minutes to travel to Morriston? By Air ambulance maybe but not on the M4 and certainly not for patients families.

      • Timothy Hughes says:

        I was simply using the timings suggested in the article but you are correct it does take longer than that. The point is wherever yiu build it there are always people who will be closer and others that will be further.

  6. Penarthian says:

    I personally know two of these thoracic surgeons and they believe this is a BAD move. Why don’t the trust listen to the surgeons! Shows how dull they are to steam roller this through.

  7. Taxpayer says:

    Cardiff x Vale trust,don’t give a s…t about there patients and staff,that’s why they can’t keep there staff,There just good at wastin us,the taxpayers money.They know it’s a bad move but will do it anyway,then in a few years move it back,they don’t care people…

  8. Harry Parfitt says:

    I was tempted to ignore this rubbish but I’ll just say that, if you, or anyone close to you, has the misfortune to suffer serious illness or injury, you’ll find that there are plenty of people who do give a s**t, as you so delicately put it.

Comments are closed.