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Regional Services (North Wales)

Volume 114: debated on Wednesday 8 April 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for Wales when he proposes to announce decisions on the recommendations of the review of regional services to north Wales; and if he will make a statement.

I am pleased to be able to announce the decisions which will take forward the review of regional services to north Wales. These have been set out in a Welsh health circular which has been issued today.The review constituted a thorough appraisal of the adequacy of regional services provided for patients in north Wales. It also covered those major regional services which are available elsewhere in Wales and those operated by authorities in England to which patients in north Wales have access.The recommendations of the review were the subject of wide consultation with health authorities and other interested bodies. The great majority of responses received supported the report's findings. As a consequence it is my right hon. Friend's intention to implement the report in the light of the comments received and in collaboration with the district and English regional health authorities concerned as quickly as possible. The following action is to be taken:

burns and plastic surgery services are to be improved by additional out-patient sessions at Bangor and Wrexham funded by the Welsh Office;
together with North Wales health authorities, the Welsh Office will examine options for providing additional facilities for cardiac services with Welsh Office funding;
the medical oncology service in North Wales is to be designated as a regional service. Discussions with the relevant health authorities to that end will be initiated soon by the Department; in addition, to ensure that cancer treatment services are organised as effectively as possible I propose to fund a study of the provision of those services to include the feasibility of providing a satellite radiotherapy centre in North Wales;
the Department is to initiate discussions with the relevant health authorities on the location in North Wales of a satellite artificial limb and appliance centre which will reduce significantly the need of disabled persons to make the journey to Merseyside;
funds are to be made available to provide fast, comfortable ambulance transport for those patients who have to travel the long distance from Gwynedd to the Artificial Limb and Appliance Centre and to the Radiotherapy Centre in Merseyside;
the service to Wales of the Welsh Poisons Information Centre is to be improved and consideration is being given to its relocation in association with toxicological services;
the Department will also be pursuing with the appropriate health authorities the implementation of a number of more detailed recommendations for improving district and regional services.

These decisions should lay the foundation for a significant improvement in the coverage and quality of health care services available to people in north Wales.