Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board officials have hit back at comments made by Hywel Williams MP in Parliament this week.
Arfon MP Mr Williams had raised concerns over the future of services at Ysbyty Gwynedd during the Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, claiming that moving them to a more central location would “put lives in unnecessary jeopardy.”
His concerns came amid speculation and uncertainty regarding the future of the vascular unit which followed on from Betsi Cadwaladr approving plans for a new £2.76m operating theatre at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd.
However, the Health Board are denying any attempts to move the vascular services elsewhere and say that only major surgery will be carried out at Glan Clwyd Hospital.
BCUHB Executive Medical Director Evan Moore said: “We have no plans to move secondary care vascular services or renal support services away from Ysbyty Gwynedd.
“Only major arterial vascular surgery will be carried out at a new specialist unit at Glan Clwyd Hospital, accounting for around 20 per cent of all vascular activity, in the same way that complex cancer care or other specialist services are provided at tertiary units either in North Wales or in some cases in England.
“This is a model that is being successfully implemented across the whole of the UK including Wales, both in urban and rural areas, and was recommended by the Royal College of Surgeons, which is fully aware of the geography of North Wales.”
Mr Moore recognised the importance of Ysbyty Gwynedd to those living in rural areas and understood that the vasular service currently available at the hospital was “world-leading”.
“Dialysis services and vascular support for dialysis services will be unaffected by this investment in tertiary care. The Health Board at its meeting held on April 20, noted that within the Vascular Society of Great Britain & Ireland guidelines many lower limb patients do not need to be accommodated in an arterial centre.
“Given the excellent outcomes currently being achieved with these lower limb patients at Ysbyty Gwynedd there is a need to protect this service and clinical outcomes, which is included in the Service Model.
“The vast majority of patients will continue to receive their treatment at their local hospital as the location of outpatient clinics, diagnostic tests and day case surgery, including renal access.”