Plans for a specialist centre of excellence for breast care services are being drawn up by the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board – and Caerphilly AM Hefin David wants it at Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr.
According to a report considered by the health board last month, NHS bosses are looking at creating the centre at the Ystrad Mynach hospital in a bid to unify breast care services under one roof.
Currently, breast services are provided from Newport’s Royal Gwent Hospital and Abergavenny’s Nevill Hall Hospital.
The health board report said: “Whilst people receiving our services give us good feedback about the care they have received, there are a number of challenges that face us at this time.
“Consistent with the picture across Wales, we experience difficulty in recruiting and retaining staff, resulting in larger waiting times and non-compliance with national requirements or the standards expected by Welsh Government for people with suspected or actual breast cancer.
“The clinic environment also presents challenges, both to patients and the clinical teams.
“Space is restricted and there is little opportunity to redesign in order to improve patient privacy, dignity and experience.
“With services being split across sites, and without dedicated space, patients are often asked to attend multiple times for tests/procedures that could be delivered in a single visit, and staff clinical time cannot be maximised due to travel needs.”
Caerphilly AM Hefin David has said he will be campaigning to make sure the centre is established at Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr.
He said: “I’ve had a meeting with the Chief Executive and the Chairman of the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board and we talked about what more we can do at Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr in Ystrad Mynach.
“I want to see a centre of excellence there for breast care services and I will campaign for that over the next few weeks and months.
“Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr runs three surgical theatres, seven days a week, providing an orthopaedic, general, urology gynaecology, vascular and ENT surgical service, as well as other specialities as and when needed.
“I’ve visited the state-of-the-art orthopaedic centre of excellence there, run by consultant foot and ankle surgeon Mr Kartik Hariharan.
“He is one of the leading specialists in his field. Indeed, his wonderful surgery prevented my father [Cllr Wynne David] from having difficulty walking following a nasty accident.
“I would now like a centre for breast care services located at the hospital.
“It needs Welsh Government support and the approval of the health board.
“I hope the latter will be given soon. The board are currently undertaking a public engagement exercise and I’ve made my representation directly to the Chief Executive.”