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Junior Doctor Shortage Forces New Arrangements For Adult Brain Surgery In Wales

by Gopalan on October 17, 2009 at 10:22 AM
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 Junior Doctor Shortage Forces New Arrangements For Adult Brain Surgery In Wales

Junior doctor shortage has forced some revamping of the existing arrangements for adult brain surgery in Wales.

In South Wales the two major hospitals, the University Hospital of Wales and Morriston Hospital, had undertaken adult brain surgery but in July a shortage of middle-grade doctors saw all complex surgery temporarily transferred to Cardiff, the provincial capital.

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Two long-awaited reports t confirmed that emergency arrangements for all complex inter-cranial surgery to be performed at the University Hospital of Wales, in Cardiff, will continue.

But they said that more patients from Mid and West Wales who need spinal surgery will be treated at Morristion Hospital, in Swansea, instead of in Cardiff.
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In North Wales neurosurgery patients will continue to travel to Liverpool for surgery but more neurological care, support and rehabilitation will be provided in Welsh hospitals, reducing the need for patients to travel.

The decisions are based on the findings of the reports compiled by the North Wales and Mid and South Wales neuroscience implementation groups.

It is hoped the decision will end years of inter-city squabbling in South Wales and uncertainty in North Wales about where neuroscience services will be based, Wales Online reported.

Paul Williams, chief executive of the NHS, said: "Wales, like the rest of the UK, has had difficulty in recruiting middle-grade doctors, particularly in specialist fields, such as neurosciences, where there are relatively few doctors available.

"This has had an impact on complying with requirements to trained specialists of the future.

"Surgeons at both centres have been working closely since July and this will be maintained.

"Complex inter-cranial neurosurgery will continue at the University Hospital of Wales but any pre and post-operative care will be carried out at Morriston Hospital.

"However, more patients from Mid and West Wales who require spinal surgery will go to Morriston instead of travelling to UHW as at present.

"The plans will allow surgeons to sub-specialise, increasing their expertise and services, which will improve outcomes for patients.

"On top of this, additional neurologists will be recruited to provide more services locally for patients across Mid and South Wales.

"The strengthened neurology service will be able to provide neurological input into stroke management."

Dr Alan Axford, chair of the Mid and South Wales neurosciences implementation programme board, said: "I am confident that the recommendations in our report represent the best way forward to strengthen and improve neurosciences in the region.

"Developing the service in this way will offer many benefits to a large number of patients, improving safety, patient outcome and ensuring we have a sustainable service in the future."

A joint statement from the six local health boards in South, Mid and West Wales, said: "[The boards] agree that the report paves the way for a more robust, comprehensive and accessible neurosciences service to be put in place, which will focus on the delivery of high quality, safe and accessible patient services."



Source: Medindia
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