On Monday of this week, I wrote to the Chief Executive of the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board about possible changes to its renal dialysis service. Not critical. Just seeking information. Seems it’s become a public issue (not as a result of anything I’ve said). In the interests of accuracy, this is what I wrote
29 January 2018
29 January 2018
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board
Dear Mr Doherty,
I have been approached by a number of constituents regarding possible changes to the Renal Unit at the Victoria Memorial Hospital, Welshpool. This is a matter in which I am also very much personally interested, in my capacity as Treasurer of the North Powys Kidney Patients Association (NPKPA).
I am aware that the Renal Unit in Wrexham requires upgrading and that, as part of the procurement process, other Units under the umbrella of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) are currently under review. This may result in privatisation of the haemodialysis service at Welshpool, and has understandably led to concerns amongst kidney patients, their family and friends, staff and supporters of the unit.
I would be grateful if you could therefore please address the following queries which have been raised with me, in order that I am able to respond to my constituents:
Will the service currently provided at the Renal Unit be the same or will it be enhanced in some way by a private company?
How will shared care be affected between local GPs, BCUHB’s unit in Wrexham and the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (eg for other medical problems, scans, blood samples, transplant etc)?
How will the sharing of data between the NHS and the private sector work?
Will patients from Powys be given priority to dialyse in Welshpool above patients from outside the area?
How will patient transport be provided to and from the Unit and who would provide this service?
How will nursing staff be affected if and when the Unit is privatised?
Currently staff also provide support to Peritoneal patients and transplant patients but these services would remain under NHS control, and so the level of service to those patients will potentially be affected by privatisation.
NPKPA purchased and paid for the installation of all the televisions for the Welshpool Renal Unit but the annual licenses are covered by BCUHB. I am told that patients in some private clinics are charged to use televisions on a per session basis but we are hoping that this will not be the case in Welshpool.
I look forward to hearing your comments on the above at your earliest convenience.