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Carmarthenshire

Hywel Dda health board restarting planned operations after surgery cancelled due to COVID

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Hywel Dda health board has written to all patients who have been on a waiting list for up to 52 weeks to establish whether they still need an operation. Over the coming weeks they will be contacting people on other waiting lists as they map out a process for restarting elective care in hospitals.

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic the health board had to cancel the vast amount of surgery they provide so that staff and resources could be redeployed in their acute hospitals.  This had a significant impact on patients who have been waiting to have a routine operation, something the health board says “we wish to express our deepest apologies”.

In a statement, the health board said: “While we cannot yet give a conclusive answer as to when routine surgery will be restarted, our aim is to bring back as much as we can within the constraints of the ongoing pandemic, recognising that further waves of the Covid-19 virus are still possible. The exception to this remains surgery for those who are deemed clinically urgent and patients on cancer pathways, which we have continued to carry out throughout the pandemic.”

Mandy Rayani, Executive Director of Nursing, Quality and Patient Experience, said: “In common with NHS trusts and health boards up and down the country, the Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant adverse impact on the way we are currently able to provide services, and we are extremely sorry to everyone who is waiting for an operation for the distress and disappointment that we know this will cause.

“Our clinical and service delivery teams are working extremely hard to increase the numbers of people that we can treat, but we are facing a significant backlog and would appeal to patients to please bear with us while we restart these services and ultimately try to return to normal levels of activity.

“What the pandemic has shown us is that we need to improve the way we keep patients informed and engaged about services in the long term, and in the future we will be looking to develop a more joined-up system for communicating and responding to questions in a timely manner, providing general information and advice and ensuring access to clinical advice and support when required.

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