Llandudno Hospital at the heart of BCUHB “Rheumatology Crisis”

With Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) and in particular Llandudno Hospital having been facing rheumatology recruitment difficulties since May 2016, and now left without a single permanent consultant rheumatologist, Janet Finch-Saunders, Assembly Member for Aberconwy, has spoken in anger about the lack of positive action by Mr Gary Doherty, Chief Executive, and Vaughan Gething AM, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care, and held both of them accountable for Llandudno’s “rheumatology crisis”.

Janet said:

“I am extremely worried about the rheumatology services in North West Wales, and especially Llandudno Hospital which has gone from winning Hospital Medicine Rheumatology Department of the Year in 2007, to seeing a shortage of permanent consultant rheumatologists since May 2016, and now being entirely reliant on locums.

“Until recently, the staff who remained at the hospital were stretched, overworked, and in one instance, forced out of retirement. However, the service has popped, seeing our local hospital, which serves around 200,000 people, left without a single permanent rheumatologist.

“The severity of this is apparent when considering that there should be three in Llandudno, as is supported by the British Society for Rheumatology (BSR) and the Royal College of Physicians’ belief that there should be a full rheumatology multi-disciplinary team in place, and one full time rheumatologist per 86,000 population.

“Both the BSR and I have raised the alarm with Gary Doherty, Chief Executive of the health board, and Vaughan Gething, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services.

“Their responses explain that there will be a review of rheumatology services across North Wales, and a continued effort to recruit medical professionals.  However, not forgetting that the health board has been struggling to recruit rheumatologists for over two and a half years, it is reasonably foreseeable that our health board will be relying on locum consultants for some time to come.

“This problem has been building up for years. As such, I hold both the Chief Executive and Cabinet Secretary accountable for failing to implement any policies to avert this rheumatology crisis”.

ENDS

Documents:

  • Letter from Janet to the Cabinet Secretary and Chief Executive 12/10/2018
  • Letter from the Chief Executive 30/10/2018
  • Letter from the Cabinet Secretary 7/11/2018

Attachments

Attachment Size
Letter from the Chief Executive 301018 68.44 KB
Letter from the Cabinet Secretary 071118 261.27 KB
Letter from the AM to the Cabinet Secretary and Chief Executive 928.22 KB