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Cardiac ‘hub’ in Carmarthen suggested for heart services

First published in News

HEART services could be the next to change in Hywel Dda as the health board sets up a clinical project board to look at a report into its cardiology services.

Following a number of “anecdotal and untoward incident reports”, the University Health Board commissioned a full, independent, external review by recognised experts, the Royal College of Physicians into quality and safety of cardiology services.

It suggests a central cardiac ‘hub’ be developed at Glangwili.

The review said two cardiologists had raised concerns about patients receiving “poor service”.

Serious concerns were also raised about an “apparently high risk adjusted mortality index (RAMI) for cardiology patients in one DGH, Withybush Hospital and the collection of data throughout HDHB”.

The distance between the Hywel Dda hospitals and the tertiary centre at Swansea also created a “formidable challenge” and centralisation at Glangwili is suggested.

Medical director Dr Sue Fish said: “Our patients deserve the best possible care and we would like to reassure patients we take the issues raised in the report very seriously.

“The review did not look at any specific issues relating to individual patients and has not identified any parts of the service that are currently unsafe.

“However, it did make a number of recommendations advising us on how they believe we should configure cardiology services to improve the care of patients across the university health board.

“We will have to consider the recommendations very seriously before reaching a decision on how we implement them.

“A number of the issues identified in the report are already being addressed. We have been reviewing all deaths in our hospitals over several of years to ensure that lessons can be learned and patient care improved.

“It’s important to stress that no decisions have been.

“We have undertaken a further review of the Risk Associated Mortality Index (RAMI) data in our hospitals, we have improved the management of clinical incidents and we are ensuring that we participate in National Clinical Audits in order that we can benchmark the care our patients receive against that in other hospitals in England and Wales.

“When the review was commissioned we were already working with our clinicians to look at how services could be improved and we will now set up a clinically led project board to discuss the report and its recommendations in detail, formulating an action plan as a matter of urgency.”

Despite concerns raised in the report it adds: “We have met some very impressive people with great commitment to the population they serve and we can see no reason why HDHB should not develop a first class cardiology service of which all can be proud.”

It will provide its official response to the report at the public board meeting in May.

If anyone has any concerns about their care contact the patient support team on 0300 0200 159

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