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Welsh Surgeons welcome announcement of a regional NHS facility for South East Wales

16 Feb 2023

The Royal College of Surgeons of England has welcomed the Welsh Government announcement of a new regional NHS facility for South East Wales.  
The most recent data show there were nearly three quarters of a million people awaiting treatment in Wales, with over 250,000 waiting nine months or more for treatment.  The Royal College of Surgeons of England has long called for a greater regional approach based on its work carried out around regional elective centres.  

Commenting on the announcement, Professor Jon Barry, Director in Wales at the Royal College of Surgeons of England, said:  
“The Royal College of Surgeons of England has long championed a regional surgical hubs approach for Wales. We’ve seen some very successful examples of surgical hubs in England.  
“With near on three quarters of a million people waiting for hospital treatment in Wales, we are in no doubt that this is a welcome first step in a change in the way we work in Wales. Of course, lists will not reduce overnight. 
“I recently visited the surgical hub at Clatterbridge on the Wirral and saw first-hand how such an approach can bring benefits to staff and patients. I am keen to see similar sites develop across Wales - moving us to a regional, high volume, low complexity approach in many surgical areas. 
“The RCS England is also very pleased to see that the National Blueprint for Orthopaedic Surgical Delivery in Wales, drafted by surgical colleagues, has been listened to and we are moving in the direction of their recommendations. Involving clinicians in the solutions for our service is essential in how we work.  
“I look forward to working with the Welsh Government and the health boards involved to take this exciting project further.”  

Notes to editors

1. The Royal College of Surgeons of England, together with the Strategy Unit (an NHS research organisation), has produced The Case for Surgical Hubs as a follow-up to our New Deal for Surgery policy paper. It provides data analysis to show the extent to which peaks of COVID and regular winter pressures have affected elective (planned) surgery. This is due to the competition for pooled elective and emergency care resources such as beds, staff and diagnostics. By reducing elective activity, resources are freed up for emergency (non-elective) patients, whose needs are generally more acute and pressing. 
2. The NCSOS project was commissioned by the Welsh Orthopaedic Board on behalf of the NHS chief executive Mr Andrew Goodall and commenced its work in September 2021. The NCSOS team have provided 34 immediate actions for health boards to enact to prevent ongoing patient harm, 155 recommendations to ensure transformation of sub specialty clinical pathways, and a long-term blueprint for the future provision of orthopaedic services. ‘NCSOS Report 4: Use existing estate differently’ was published recently: Home - Welsh Orthopaedic Society 
3. The Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCS England) is a professional membership organisation and registered charity. The College provides world-class education, assessment, and development to more than 28,000 surgeons, dental professionals, and members of the wider surgical and dental care teams, at all stages of their career. The College sets professional standards, facilitates research, and champions the best outcomes for patients – with a vision to see excellent surgical care for everyone.  
4. For more information, please contact the Press Office:  

Telephone: 020 7869 6047/6052  
Out-of-hours media enquiries: 0207 869 6056.  

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