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Dear colleague,

Review of Emergency General Surgery Services across North Wales

I am writing to ensure you remain fully engaged and informed regarding the work of the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board to ensure we continue to deliver safe, effective and efficient services:

The Health Board needs to ensure that its surgeons are able to provide a safe, high quality service to the population of North Wales and support 3 Emergency Departments as has been the undertaking of BCUHB. In order to achieve this acute general surgery must be clinically, operationally and financially sustainable. The creation of a new healthcare organisation for North Wales has facilitated the development of specialist surgery teams, which will mean that patients receive an improved level of service from surgeons who are experts in their field.

Developments in modern healthcare also mean that some surgical teams need to focus on their specialist area without the added responsibility of also providing emergency general surgery. One example of this is that there will shortly be a dedicated North Wales Vascular surgical service providing cover for emergency life threatening cases such as ruptured aortic aneurysms.

However, the need to ensure the development of these specialist services and allow junior doctors to receive appropriate training means that present emergency general surgery arrangements need to be reviewed. The Health Board will therefore commence a review to ensure the continued provision of safe and effective services.

A number of recent developments affect the sustainability and long-term safety of our current arrangements and these affect all NHS organisations. There is no doubt that we need to change the way we provide services and our highest priorities are to ensure the safety of our patients and provide the highest possible quality of service within the resources we have.”

Service users, staff, partner organisations and other stakeholders are in integral part of the process and will be invited to present their views at two workshops which will be held as part of the review. These events will focus on the development and analysis of future options and identifying a preferred way forward. The conclusions will be presented to the BCUHB Board in November 2010.

Further information regarding the stakeholder events and project structure will be shared with you shortly. Should you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact:

Robin Wiggs

Head of Planning

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board

Mathew House

Llys Edmund Prys

St Asaph Business Park

St Asaph

Denbighshire LL17 0JA

01745 589125

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