The MS for Arfon, Siân Gwenllian, has said people have been ‘deceived’ by the decision to reorganise the vascular services in North Wales.

Esyllt Calley, from Llanllyfni, Gwynedd, says her husband Pete is facing losing his legs due to a ‘flawed’ reorganisation by the Betsi Cadwaladr health board.

Pete Calley, 51, is currently a patient at Ysbyty Gwynedd, and is waiting for an operation to amputate his second leg because of issues stemming from the diabetes with which he has lived for 22 years.

Betsi Cadwaladr health board had now agreed to fund his treatment at a Liverpool hospital, with Esyllt having said she feels she has ‘lost the man she married’.

Earlier this year, Ms Gwenllian joined campaigner Ken Jones, secretary of Ysbyty Gwynedd's Kidney Patients Association, to call on the health board to restore vascular services at Ysbyty Gwynedd.

The MS’ constituency includes Ysbyty Gwynedd, and she is now calling on the health board to ‘apologise wholeheartedly’ for the ‘mess’ of North Wales’ vascular services.

She said: “I have been supporting Pete Calley and other families from my constituency who have been badly affected by the questionable decisions of the health board.

"Pete's story is heart-breaking and I wish him well in Liverpool, but I am deeply concerned about the huge decline in vascular services in North Wales.

“Pete should not be in Liverpool today.

“There was no sense in dismantling the world-famous unit at Bangor - I said that at the time; many of us argued against the reorganisation at the time, but it went ahead regardless - and unfortunately, our doubts have been realised, and Pete Calley's sobering story is very real evidence of that.”

According to the MS, the vascular services led by Professor Dean Williams were ‘described as world-class.’

She added: “The health board needs to apologise fully and unreservedly for this mess.

“There was no need to dismantle the great unit and lose all the expertise that was at Bangor.

“If there was a need to restructure, why couldn't they have built on the service in Bangor - establish that as the main centre?

“We were deceived; the emergency vascular service and other elements of care were due to remain in Bangor after the reorganisation. That has not happened and has rubbed salt in the wound.

"The health board needs to issue a full apology, restore the unit and publicly admit the harm that has been caused - for people like Pete and others caught in the middle of the mess."

Dr Nick Lyons, executive medical director at Betsi Cadwaladr, said: “We remain committed to providing a stable, high quality vascular service for North Wales.

"Our work to strengthen the spoke sites at Ysbyty Gwynedd and Wrexham Maelor, as well as team working throughout the vascular network, continues.

"We have invested in the £2.3 million state of the art hybrid theatre at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, the hub site for the service, to provide the best service for the most complex cases.

"Recruitment of qualified and experienced staff remains a priority for all parts of the network.

“I have overseen vascular services in the East of England and in South Wales and am pleased that we are bringing the North Wales service into line with the quality and safety standards that are well established in other parts of the UK.

"We know that the best patient outcomes are achieved in specialist vascular units, working closely with local teams, with dedicated vascular teams available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

"Even in this large health board area, we do not have the volume of complex vascular cases for teams to keep their skills and expertise up at each of the three acute hospitals.

"Additionally, we continue to focus on improving care in our communities and are working with patients to prevent some of these conditions developing.  

“Last year, the health board invited experts from the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) to review the new service. The first part of the RCS review was published in May 2021.

"This stated that the service has a robust surgical on-call arrangement and appropriate pathways for emergency and complex vascular intervention.

"It also provided us with an opportunity to review the further work that needs to be completed at pace, which includes the development of pathways for vascular and diabetic patients.

"Clinicians from all three hospitals are now engaged in this process.

“The RCS noted the commitment from all involved to improve the service and that ‘an excellent foundation’ is in place to continue the development and improvement of the vascular service in North Wales.

"We await further feedback from the RCS based on their independent review of 50 sets of patient notes and will be responding to and acting upon that when we receive it. 

"Health board staff, patient representatives and North Wales Community Health Council remain engaged in our work to continue these improvements and we remain grateful for their commitment to delivering a high quality service to serve the population of North Wales.

“We are in contact with Mr Calley and wish him well with his forthcoming surgery.”