Ceredigion AM Elin Jones, has challenged the Welsh Government Health Minister on a report which recommended centralisation of heart treatment in the Hywel Dda Health Board area.

The report, by a group from the Royal College of Physicians, has been widely criticised for not taking into account the rural geography of mid and west Wales.

Elin Jones also raised the issue of unacceptable delays with cardiac care and treatment as it currently stands, with Ceredigion patients having to wait weeks for treatment at hospitals such as Morriston.

During Health Minister’s Questions on the floor of the Assembly, Elin Jones, Ceredigion’s AM and Plaid Cymru Shadow Health Minister, said:

“Emergency cardiac patients are going into Bronglais but are waiting to be transferred to Morriston for surgery, and they are waiting in beds in Bronglais for weeks, including one constituent who has recently been there for three weeks. People are waiting for a bed in Morriston but there is no bed available.

“The Welsh Government must work to increase capacity for surgery, and to ensure that there is better co-ordination between these specialist cardiac hospitals and patients in the Hywel Dda area.

“There is a serious lack of justification in the Royal College report, I believe, for moving towards a recommendation that is as far reaching as centralising consultant cardiac services from Bronglais and Withybush to Glangwili, which is only 20 minutes away from Morriston. It’s hard to see how this report will answer the problems in the cardiac service.

“Following representations from doctors and myself, the Minister has commissioned work for an independent report on the future of the health service in the Bronglais and mid-Wales area. He should ask the Health Board not to make such a far-reaching decision as centralising cardiac services before the independent report has reached its own conclusions.”