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RCS urge a review on Welsh hospitals

The Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) has urged a review to address ‘public anxiety’ about standards of NHS care in all Welsh hospitals.

The respected professional body said the hospital inspection system should be made better with more input from professional medical bodies. The RCS, which represents surgeons across the UK and promotes surgical standards, showed concerns about poor performance and called for ‘urgent assurance’ on safety.

The body wants the current inspection regime, led by Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW), to be ‘beefed up’, and suggested setting up a dedicated ‘hospital inspectorate’ within the watchdog. The concerns were raised due to the high number of patients who die waiting for heart operations in south Wales and the rise in people waiting too long for hospital treatment. However, the Welsh government says a review is not needed.

Conservative Shadow Minister for Health Darren Millar welcomed the RCS call. "It's not right that the people of Wales have hospitals with higher death rates than elsewhere in the UK. We need to understand the reasons for that and I am pleased the RCS has made this call."

The Conservatives have previously demanded an inquiry into Welsh NHS care standards.
Ann Clwyd, Cynon Valley MP who recently led a review of NHS complaints in England, said the RCS report must be recognised. "I think it will shine a light on what are very serious concerns - long waiting lists, long waits for diagnosis in the first place compared to England, and a number of patients - particularly in cardiac surgery - dying on waiting lists," she said.