Cross-Border Patients

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Wales – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 2nd April 2008.

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Photo of Albert Owen Albert Owen Labour, Ynys Môn 11:30 am, 2nd April 2008

On Monday, the Welsh Affairs Committee visited the Walton centre and Alder Hey in Liverpool as part of our ongoing inquiry into cross-border health services. Those two establishments are centres of excellence and an integral part of the national health service for the people of north Wales. We were told that for all serious illnesses patients were treated equally whichever side of the border they resided on. Does the Minister agree that to meet the expectations of the future we need to strengthen the links between general hospitals in north Wales and those centres of excellence to ensure that we get the best patient care, based on clinical need, not geography?

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Arthur Roberts
Posted on 3 Apr 2008 1:43 pm (Report this annotation)

This debate is unbusiness like(with the usual strong hint of Nationalism/tribalism!from SOME quarters)and point scoring by a bunch of very expensive politicians. When will you ever analyse the problem, summarise the FACTS and define and manage the solution to the problem. If any one of you tracked a number of cases through the system you would find the cause of delays and or waste and irradicate same to increase the throughput of cases = reduce the waiting time. For instance the NHS system applied to a garage would be...ring for an initial appointment... after a week or two you get one in the post for about a month ahead that suits the garage not arrive on the day/time....(previously que AND pay to park!)often WAIT....see a manager who will agree that yes you have a number of faults with the car, eg. a bald tyre , bad tracking and past the date for an oil then go home etc and wait for an appointment to see the tyre change specialist again when it suits the garage not you...ditto for all the faults at separate appointments total time 2 months. This scenario mirrors my two recent cases of mild forms of skin cancer + I will have to wait two to three weeks for the result of a biopsy which will go to my doctor not me and they may or may not tell me without me asking....equivalent to an MOT today and waiting for(& worrying about) the result for 2 weeks. Many aspects of the actual treatment and some of the logistics have improved in the two years between cases BUT you just feel something is missing. Another classic is the 100s of £millions worth of scanners that are sitting idle every evening and every weekend from 4 on a friday to 10 on a monday and people are waiting weeks or months for a scan! CANCERS go from bad to deadly in months!