Following the Member’s finding that Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board has the highest number of individuals of any health board waiting beyond clinically safe levels for an ophthalmology appointment, she spoke out yesterday during the Welsh Conservative debate on sight loss, and called for a nationwide workforce and an eye care delivery plan so as to help ensure that demand is met and that health boards can tackle the crisis on a national basis.
Following her speech, Janet said:
“Llandudno is home to the Blind Veterans’ training and rehabilitation centre, a hotel with rooms designated to visually impaired guests, and Mr Billy Baxter, the only blind town crier in Europe and the second in UK history.
“Whilst I like to think of Aberconwy as a constituency which is trying its best to be sight friendly, constituents requiring eye care are being failed by Betsi Cadwaladr.
“What I have revealed in the Senedd is that our health board has the highest number of individuals of any area in Wales waiting beyond clinically safe levels for an ophthalmology appointment.
“The figure is staggering. 11,310 are waiting longer than the target for appointments.
“Whilst Betsi is by far the worst performing health board in Wales, its trouble forms part of a depressing national picture in which 1 in 3 patients deemed to be at high risk of losing their sight are waiting longer than their target waiting time for ophthalmology appointments.
“Urgent action is need to tackle this crisis, so I have joined with my Welsh Conservative colleagues to call on the Welsh Government to implement a nationwide workforce and eye care delivery plan.
“The longer the Minister for Health and Social Services delays, the more patients are at risk of sight loss. Indeed, 13 people are losing their sight in Wales every day”.
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