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Welsh health news

5 July 2005 - 9:10am

Includes the chartered physiotherapist who made it onto BBC Wales as one of the five NHS Heroes finalists, A&E waits around Wales and a leaked report which claims there's not enough money for the NHS in Wales

Friday 01.02.02


Waiting continues
Reports on the growing number of people in Wales waiting for a hospital appointment.  A record 210,000 are waiting.

CHCs spot-check A&E
Reports on new figures from the Association of Welsh CHCs who spot checked waiting times in A&E around Wales.  The longest single wait by a patient in the UHW has nearly trebled from nine hours to nearly 25 hours.


Unhealthy Welsh
Figures released by the British Heart Foundation show that unhealthy Welsh have the highest heart disease rate.  Deaths from heart disease have fallen dramatically but the number of people developing CHD is not dropping.  The report shows that CHD is still a major problem particularly in the South Wales valleys.

Saturday 02.02.02


A&E waiting
Reports on the long A&E waits. According to the CHC a growing number of patients across Wales are being forced to 'lodge' in casualty departments.  Mrs Jeffs of the CHC said 'there are now two types of patient waiting in casualty: those who are emergencies and those who have been referred to hospital by their GP but have no bed to go to'.


MMR alternative
More than 1,000 patients in North Wales have rushed to make appointments at a North West clinic offering an alternative to the MMR jab.  The Liverpool clinic now has a three month waiting list for the single jabs.


Rhodri's rousing speech
In his opening speech to the Labour Spring Conference in Cardiff, First Minister Rhodri Morgan has warned that the Tories are planning to turn the NHS into a service where patients 'pay in on the way in'.  He challenged them to experience the reality of frontline public services rather than trying to run them down.

Good news for DVT campaigners
Families of South Wales air travelers killed by blood clots are celebrating a landmark ruling that will allow them to sue the airlines.  High court judges have set in motion a group action by air travelers who say their relatives died of DVT as a result of flying.

Monday 04.02.02


Colostomy mistake
A Cardiff family was shocked to receive a phone call form staff at UHW requested that they deliver colostomy bags saying that she had run out.  The hospital apologized and said it had been a complete misunderstanding.

Pioneering in infertility
Reports on pioneering infertility treatment undertaken at the University Hospital of Wales.  It describes intro cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) programme and profiles a couple who are now expecting their first child.


Merthyr team scoops award
A team of health professionals has scooped a national award for its outstanding work with drink and drug addicts.  The Methyr Tydfil home doctor team beat off strong competition from more than 90 entries to win the Welsh National healthcare awards.

Asylum seekers to Sully – 50:50
There is a 50-50 chance that Sully Hospital will be turned into a center for asylum seekers according to Home Secretary David Blunkett.  He said that Sully was one of eight sites under consideration Jane Hutt, Assembly Member for the Vale of Glamorgan ahs rejected the proposal.  She said "Sully Hospital is neither safe nor suitable for asylum seekers".

Tuesday 05.02.02


More on MMR
Continued coverage of the MMR debate.  Campaigners are claiming victory in the battle for hearts and minds over the controversial MMR vaccine.  Doctors and health officials have been forced on to the back foot after an opinion poll revealed that 85% of parents want to be able to choose between the three in one jab and having them separately.


Wednesday 06.02.02


MMR take-up drops
Take up of the triple MMR jab has slumped to an all time low in North Wales.  Health chiefs in North Wales are worried.


Minister plans palliative care strategy
The health minister has pledged to improve quality of life for terminally and chronically ill patients, setting out plans for a new care strategy.  The All Wales strategy for palliative care is due out for publication and consultation next month.


Focus on muscular dystrophy
Focus on duchenne muscular dystrophy a severe and progressive muscle wasting condition.  In a bid to try and discover a cure and treatments for this deadly condition, a new national charity for sufferers of DMD is being launched with a local Cardiff group also being set up on the same day.

Thursday 07.02.02


More on MMR
Wales is entitled to go its own way on the controversial MMR vaccine it has been revealed.  Under mounting pressure, National Assembly officials said that Wales does not have to follow the English line.

Kidney surgery to be suspended
The UHW is expected to announce that it will suspend inpatient treatment for children with serious kidney complaints due to a shortage of staff.  Children will have to travel to Bristol for treatment in the foreseeable future.

Assembly money for air ambulance
The air ambulance service in Wales is to receive a boost of £70,000 from the National Assembly it has been announced.  A business sponsor is still required as the AA are looking to reduce their sponsorship.

Mental health worries
One in four people will suffer from a mental health problem during their lifetime, according to research from the mental health charity Mind.  Vale of Glamorgan Mind has set up a new center as a source of information and support for people experiencing mental health problems.  It was established with the help of a £30,000 donation from Lloyds TSB.

Friday 08.02.02


NHS financial worries
A damning report into NHS funding warns that the National Assembly's efforts to improve services next year are doomed to failure.  A report has been leaked which claims the promised 9.7% increase in funding next year is not enough to keep the service running at a stand still let along bring in a raft of promises made by the National Assembly.

Near miss in the skies
The Welsh Air Ambulance service was involved in a near miss with the Tornado F3 and Hawk aircraft over Lampeter in 2001 it has been revealed.

NHS manpower and funding worries
The NHS in Wales is facing a manpower and funding crisis over the next 12 months according to senior health managers.  They fear the National Assembly targets for the service for the next financial year cannot be delivered.

Saturday 09.02.02


Nye Bevan v New Labour
Asks what Nye Bevan would have thought of leaked documents?  It also compares Aneurin Bevan's dream of a National Health Service free at the point of use with the vision of 'New Labour'.

Nantygwyddon worries
Disturbing results of research into the health of people living near the Nantygwyddon waste tip site near Merthyr Tydfil.  Research has shown 30 definite cases of sarcoidosis and a further 70 cases of berylliosis near the tip.

People want choice in MMR
 A poll for the newspaper found 92% of respondents are in favour of being given the choice over the MMR vaccine.  Meanwhile support for the MMR came form the BMA's GPs who uses a parent's refusal of the immunization as a reason for removing a patient form their list.


Money for therapies
Children with cerebral palsy have been given a new lease of life thanks to a £220,000 extension at Bobath Cymru Children's Therapy Centre in Cardiff.  The article pictures physio Dawn Forbes.

Monday 11.02.02


Angry family want answers
The angry family of schoolboy Shane Parry who died of a rare genetic disorder at the University Hospital of Wales are demanding answers from the hospital.  Shane, who was 10, was suffering form congenital adrenal hypoplasia.  The family say they were never told it was life threatening.

More on MMR
A massive media blitz to persuade parents to take up the MMR will fall on deaf ears in Wales according to the paper.  Worried parents are swamping one organisation which set up a temporary choice in Swansea to administer single vaccines.

How to wipe away waiting lists
Waiting lists for operations in Welsh hospitals could be wiped out in little more than a year it has been claimed if they follow the lead of hospitals in the Morgannwg Health Authority area.  According to a report by the Welsh Institute for Health and Social Care, Morgannwg is performing far more GPs referred operations than any other health authority.

Tuesday 12.02.02


Driving to the toilet
Ambulance men on 999 cover are forced to drive four miles to the nearest toilet in North Wales's Blaenau Ffestiniog and Porthmadog areas.


Accused of fraud
A doctor from Pontypool in Gwent claimed thousands of pounds after supposedly visiting three patients on numerous occasions 'out of hours', the GMC have heard.  The GMC's professional misconduct committee heard that the GP made 281 visits to 3 patients between May 22 and July31 in 1995 claiming a total of more than £3,600.

Wednesday 13.02.02


Backlog ops
Looks at the worrying backlog of tonsillectomy operations following first the scare about the link with CJD and then the lack of disposable instruments.

Thursday 14.02.02


Sleep disorder – America to explore
Sleep disorder specialists in the United States are hoping to unravel the case of a young girl from North Wales who faces death every time she goes to bed at night.  She suffers from central sleep apnea which means her brain tells her to stop breathing while she sleeps.


Early signs of heart disease
Early signs of heart disease can now be seen in children as young as two years old say experts at the National Health Forum. They are calling on the Assembly to introduce a plan for children's health.

Friday 15.02.02


Increase in kids with asthma
The number of children who have asthma has more than doubled in a decade according to a UK-wide National Asthma Group.  The illness costs the NHS an estimated £800 million a year.  The National Assembly has awarded £700,000 to five Welsh projects researching asthma in an attempt to reduce the number of cases.


Trust a nurse
A new survey says that nurses are the most trusted people in society, while we trust politicians the least.

Monday 18.02.02

Third of Welsh children live in poverty
Reports that more than a third of Welsh children are living in poverty according to statistics from the Child Poverty Action Group.  Wales has lower level of educational achievement, poorer quality housing, poorer rates of pay, a higher rate of work-less households and a lower life expectancy than many other areas of the UK.


Iain the BBC hero
Reports that physiotherapist Iain Mitchell is to be on BBC Wales Hero as one of the five finalists.


More on NHS heroes
Also covers the NHS heroes focusing on the finalists from South Wales, Dr Kay Saunders and nurse Jackie Field.

Tuesday 19.02.02


Golden hellos for GPs
A series of cash incentives have been unveiled to boost recruitment and retention of GPs.  Cash rewards of up to £10,000 to doctors who are prepared to work in areas desperate for trained staff.  The number of vacancies for GPs in Wales rose from 84 to 133 in a single year.

Wednesday 20.02.02


Drive for charity boost
The Welsh Assembly is to join a drive for a massive boost to charity coffers in Wales.  The cabinet has given its backing to a campaign to swell donations by up to £8m across Wales.

LHG pays for equipment
Heart patients throughout Denbighshire in North Wales will have better treatment form their GPs thanks to equipment worth a total of £51,000 supplied to the 15 practices by the Denbighshire Local Health Group.


Worries about on-call
A new on-call system to ease the burden of overworked doctors in rural areas has been criticized by patients who warn someone could die because of a lack of medical cover.


Drugs problems
A worried South Wales dad battling to help his teenage son fight drug addiction has described their situation as a living hell.  Generally there is a worrying rise in drug related problems.  The poisons information service in Llandough Hospital, Penarth has seen a massive rise in cases form health professionals seeking advice on how to deal with drug overdoses.

Thursday 21.02.02


GMC case
The GMC have heard how an anaesthetist working in Llanelli made a fatal mistake while programming drip-feed machine.  The anaesthetist who admitted giving a lethal does of pain killers to a patient was seven months pregnant and had been on call for 14 hours when she made the mistake.

Friday 22.02.02


Wasting £500m
More than £500m has been wasted by the NHS in Wales in the past five years because of massive variations in costs for routine operations according to a study by Labour MP Wyn Griffiths while he was in office in 1997-98.

Public would pay more
Reports that the public has shown it is willing to pay more for the NHS.  The article discusses various options for raising taxes to pay for the NHS.

The GMC case
Discusses the fatal mistake made by consultant anaesthetist Dr Basnyat and asks where the blame should lie.  Liz Hewett, Welsh Secretary of the RCN said that though nurses are duty bound to take personal responsibility for their actions, their employer – the NHS – also has a duty of care to protect its staff under the H&S act.

Guarding against violence
Nearly every major hospital in Wales now has its own police officer to combat violence against medical staff.  A survey carried out by the Western Mail reveals that NHS Trusts are so concerned about verbal and physical abuse by patients that they are either already funding the services of a police officer or have plans to fund one.

Too many antibiotics
Antibiotics are being overused and the effects of resistance are already being felt among patients, an independent market analyst has warned.

Still long waits
Patients still appear to be facing long waits for heart surgery despite sustained injections of funding from the National Assembly.


CHC withdraws support
With arguments still ranging about the closure of the Cardiff Royal Infirmary Cardiff CHC have now withdrawn support for a plan by Bro Taf HA to shake up services for the elderly in the city.  Their concern is simple, without the promised hospital in the CRI site the city does not have enough beds.

Saturday 23.02.02


Health Minister in constituency row
Health Minister Jane Hutt AM is at the center of a row concerning a patient who is one of her constituents.  The gentleman is waiting for surgery to prevent needing to wear a colostomy bag.  Due to bed shortages he will have to wait two years.  Jane Hutt said she had done all she could but could not intervene in individual cases.

Monday 25.02.02


NHS – 'Groundhog Day'
Describes the NHS as stuck in 'Groundhog Day'.  The things being said back in 1997 are still being said today.

Move on MMR
Chief Medical Officer, Dr Ruth Hall argues the case for the triple MMR vaccine.


Call for a public enquiry
Jane Hutt AM has been urged to order a public enquiry into events at a controversial Cardiff residential home by Conservative AM Jonathan Morgan.

Wednesday 27.02.02


English patients coming to Wales
A short staffed hospital is to taxi patients from England to Wales in a bid to cut waiting lists and meet Government targets.  Weston General Hospital in Weston-Super-Mare will be sending patients to a private facility in Bridgend for instant treatment.

Overseas nurses looking to move
Nurses drafted from overseas are looking to move abroad to countries like the USA because they are unhappy with living conditions in Wales.

Patient goes private – NHS pays
A patient who faced a two year wait for the removal of a colostomy bag will now be operated on within a week at a private hospital, paid for by the NHS.


Another rise in waiting lists
More than 70,000 people are now waiting for a hospital bed in Wales.  However, the Minister, Jane Hutt AM still believes she is 'on-track' with targets the Assembly has set.

St David's Hospital, Cardiff to open
The doors of the first new hospital to open in Cardiff will finally be opened at the beginning of March.  It's opening will trigger the closure of two other Cardiff Hospitals, the Royal Hamadryad and Lansdowne Hospital.

Thursday 28.02.02


Hospital queues grow but Minister is not deterred
Also reports on the rising waiting lists.  The Minister saying that the Assembly would sustain the drive to cut down key waiting times and that she was confident that waiting times would start to fall.

Lack of services to fight drug addiction
A report from the Audit Commission has found that services to support drug addicts in England and Wales are inadequate.  There are lengthy waits for drug treatment and underdeveloped care management with staff having high workloads.

The costs of alcohol
Alcohol misuse is costing the NHS up to 3 billion/year with more than 28,000 hospital admissions caused by alcohol dependence or poisoning according to a report called 'Your Very Good Health from Alcohol Concern.

Alcohol misuse is costing the NHS up to 3 billion/year with more than 28,000 hospital admissions caused by alcohol dependence or poisoning according to a report called 'Your Very Good Health from Alcohol Concern.



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