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Consultation on thoracic surgery launched

A public consultation on the future of adult thoracic surgery in south Wales has been launched this week.

The Welsh Health Specialised Services Committee, on behalf of six affected health boards, is asking for views on a proposal to locate adult thoracic surgery for patients from south Wales at a single centre based at Morriston Hospital in Swansea.

Thoracic surgery involves operations on all parts of the chest, including the chest wall, the contents of the chest, and the lungs, however it does not include heart surgery.

The services are currently spread across two sites, the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff and Morriston Hospital, however there are concerns that these arrangements are unable to keep up with the needs of patients, changes to way our surgeons work and are resulting in longer waiting times than we would like.

The proposed centre at Morriston Hospital would be one of the largest thoracic surgery centres in the UK and is intended to provide long term sustainability, the ability to treat more patients and deliver a centre of excellence for the region.

The eight week consultation follows a period of engagement by WHSSC and a recommendation from an Independent Panel that these services should be provided at Morriston.

Dr Sian Lewis, Managing Director of WHSSC, said:

“We want to make sure that we provide access to for everyone to safe, effective, and sustainable thoracic surgery services which provide patients with the best possible care.

“We believe that this is a unique opportunity to improve the quality of care for thoracic patients in south Wales and would like to thank all those, including the CHCs, patients, public and staff, who have helped to inform each step of this process so far and look forward to continuing to work with them during the consultation period and beyond.”