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Response to Ombudsman's reports regarding three orthopaedic patients

Swansea Bay University Health Board

We sincerely apologise to the three patients whose orthopaedic surgery was delayed because of failings in the way their appointments were managed.

We have accepted the Ombudsman’s recommendations in full and they will be implemented over the next few weeks.

We can confirm that all three patients have now received their operations.

We are checking our orthopaedic waiting lists to ensure there are no other similar cases, and if there are, we will again urgently expedite their care.

Along with scrutinising our orthopaedic waiting lists, additional staff training is in place to ensure referral to treatment time rules are followed.

Our orthopaedic services are under huge pressure, and we are doing all we can to tackle waiting lists, including launching the new orthopaedic theatre hub at Neath Port Talbot Hospital seven months ago.

In most cases, the orthopaedic patients who have waited the longest have had other health concerns as well, so needed their operation in Morriston Hospital. Crucially we have now re-established 10 ring-fenced beds in Morriston for this group of patients with complex health needs.

This action, together with the new orthopaedic theatres in Neath Port Talbot Hospital, means the longest waiting times are now coming down.

We anticipate that by the end of March there will be no patients waiting over three years for their surgery, with the majority of orthopaedic patients who do not have additional health needs being seen sooner.

Patients awaiting arthroplasty surgery are also now able to access an exercise and lifestyle programme prior to surgery, to ensure they can optimise their health prior to surgery. This means they are far less likely to have planned surgery postponed because of a health issue which needs to be addressed first – e.g. high blood pressure - and it also supports good post-operative recovery.

To read the three Ombudsman's Reports, please follow this link to the Ombudsman Wales website. 

Rydym yn croesawu gohebiaeth a galwadau ffôn yn y Gymraeg neu'r Saesneg. Atebir gohebiaeth Gymraeg yn y Gymraeg, ac ni fydd hyn yn arwain at oedi. Mae’r dudalen hon ar gael yn Gymraeg drwy bwyso’r botwm ar y dde ar frig y dudalen.

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