The Member of the Welsh Parliament for Aberconwy – Janet Finch-Saunders MS – has today (16 July) urged the Welsh Government to work with the nation’s health boards to immediately increase the number of lung function tests taking place.
According to figures obtained through an FOI request to Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, over 300 lung function tests took place every month between December and March, reaching a high of 461 in January 2020. By April, however, this number had fallen to just 36 tests. With many Coronavirus survivors found suffering from respiratory issues throughout the recovery period, doctors have said that such lung tests could be central to charting long-term issues.
Commenting on the FOI revelations, Janet said:
“That over 300 fewer people are benefitting from lung function tests throughout North Wales is concerning, especially if such tests can better our long-term monitoring of the health issues that may arise from this Coronavirus outbreak.
“As we look towards the nation’s recovery from the present pandemic period, the Welsh Health Minister must work in lockstep with our health boards to ensure an increase to the number of tests taking place.
“With a new virus such as COVID-19, the long-term monitoring of patients is key so that our health officials may properly assess the impact of the disease on patients of all ages. I have been informed that lung function tests may be central to this monitoring.
“If one considers that the number of attendees to North Wales A&Es also saw a 56% decrease in April, the Welsh Government must do more to assure the public that our NHS is open for business.”
Photo: Robine Weermeijer/UnSplash
Notes for Editors:
- Read: Respiratory guidance from the British Thoracic Society.