MILLIONS of pounds is being invested in Glan Clwyd Hospital and Wrexham Maelor to try and speed up the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and other diseases.

More than £25million is being invested overall at hospitals across Wales, by the Welsh Government, in new imaging equipment to ensure the NHS in Wales has access to the latest technology.

The funding will help health boards upgrade equipment, including MRI and CT scanners. It will also increase the resilience and reliability of diagnostic equipment available to the NHS in Wales.

Cancer services will receive a significant boost, with new investment in CT scanners, gamma cameras, and MRI and fluoroscopy x-ray imaging rooms.

Ysbyty Glan Clwyd will received £2.1m for a CT simulator replacement and Wrexham Maelor Hospital will be given £3.3m for a gamma camera and interventional radiology suite.

Adrian Thomas, executive director of Therapies and Health Sciences at BCUHB, said: “We welcome this significant investment in the latest state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment, which comes at a time when we are working incredibly hard to catch up on the backlog of people who are waiting for diagnostic tests and treatment, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The £3.3m investment in a gamma camera and interventional radiology suite at Wrexham Maelor hospital will enable us to improve the quality and efficiency of diagnostic tests and enable us to perform a greater range of minimally invasive procedures, resulting in faster treatment and discharge times.

“North Wales patients requiring radiotherapy will benefit from the new radiotherapy CT Simulator as it will enable us to plan radiotherapy treatment for cancer patients much faster and with higher accuracy, due to the much improved clarity of the images.

“We know this is a worrying time for people waiting for treatment. We are looking at a range of measures to work as efficiently as possible, ensuring people with the highest clinical need are prioritised for treatment at the earliest opportunity.”

North Wales Chronicle: Minister Eluned Morgan with CT Scanner at Singleton HospitalMinister Eluned Morgan with CT Scanner at Singleton Hospital

Eluned Morgan, Wales' Health Minister said: “It’s our priority to support the recovery of the NHS and this is a first step to ensuring the health service has access to sufficient diagnostic capacity to deal with the people waiting as a result of the pandemic.

“We aren’t out of the pandemic yet. Investing in the diagnostic national capital replacement programme and upgrading the equipment available to our incredible healthcare workforce is key to diagnosing, treating and caring for people as we move forward.

“This £25m investment will replace ageing equipment as part of our effort to ensure the NHS can respond to demand with resilient services.”

The Welsh Government say investing in diagnostic services across all health boards and NHS trusts will help the NHS recover and improve patient care.

The remainder of the funding will go to:

  • £2.3m for a CT scanner and two diagnostic radiology rooms at Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr, in Ystrad Mynach
  • £3.2m for fluoroscopy and cath lab at University Hospital of Wales, in Cardiff
  • £3.1m for an upgrade of MRI and fluoroscopy room, providing x-ray imaging at the Princess of Wales Hospital, in Bridgend
  • £4.5m for two replacement CT scanners at Glangwilli Hospital, in Carmarthenshire and Withybush Hospital, Pembrokeshire
  • £1m for fluoroscopy x-ray imaging and MRI upgrade at Velindre Cancer Centre, in Cardiff.
  • £350k for four ultrasound machines at Brecon, Newtown, Llandrindod Wells and Welshpool hospitals