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Eye clinic patients face wait for treatment

July 16, 2014 1:00 PM

As reported by Wales Online a few days ago the eye clinic at Ysbyty Cwm Rhondda in Llwynypia has been forced to shut owing to a shortage of staff. What the report didn't make clear is that the clinic actually closed on May 23rd and an alternative clinic did not open at the Royal Glamorgan until 8th July.

A statement from Cwm Taf Health Board says that "The Health Board is doing its best to resolve the issue and it is anticipated that the service will resume at Ysbyty Cwm Rhondda in the near future."

Patients may not be so easily convinced. We were guaranteed by the then Minister for Health in 2088 that the downgrading of the neonatal department at the Royal Glamorgan was temporary. That was certainly not the case and now the department is being further decimated.

Many of the patients using the service at Cwm Rhondda are elderly and many will not find it easy to travel to the Royal Glamorgan. The delays to treatment could in some cases significantly affect the patient. One lady told Wales Online

"A day before my eye appointment on July 1, I was sent a letter which said they had to close the centre due to circumstances beyond their control. I immediately panicked because I didn't know when my next injection was going to take place.

"Luckily, I managed to get an emergency appointment at the Royal Glamorgan around 10 days after I was supposed to, but they couldn't guarantee when I would next be able to come in."

The question has to be asked, if Cwm Taf are saying they closed the department on 23rd May then why was this lady getting notice a day before her July appointment? Furthermore why is there no mention of this on Cwm Taf University Health Board website? Why was there no mention of this until they were approached for a response?

The Welsh Government as usual are denying any responsibility. Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member Eluned Parrott asked the Minister for Assembly Business for a statement to be made on the situation with particular regard to how patients could be transported to the Royal Glamorgan. The answer was that there would be no statement made and that "it is a matter for Cwm Taf Health Board."