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Powys health patients won’t be blocked

Created on 09/04/2019 @ 12:00
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Fears that Powys residents will be unable to receive medical treatment in Shropshire have been soothed.

Last week, the Countess of Chester NHS Foundation Trust in Chester caused a row with the Welsh Government after saying Welsh patients would only be allowed to access Accident and Emergency and Maternity services.

This prompted Wales’ First Minister, Mark Drakeford, to say that if the Countess of Chester hospital would not admit patients from Wales, it would see a cut in funding.

The situation a few miles up the road has caused concern for Powys health campaigners.

Many residents, especially in North East Powys, are treated by Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust.

Others are treated by The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, NHS Foundation Trust.

Powys County Councillor and Health campaigner, Cllr Joy Jones, said: “It’s awful to think that any hospital would make such a decision. The row between health boards/trust regarding payment should never impact on patient care.

“Patients need to be able to access care without having to worry about where it is going to be provided.

“I am concerned it could end up having some impact here in Montgomeryshire, especially if Wrexham Maelor hospital pick up the patients from Chester. Some patients from our area use Wrexham Maelor and are under consultants from there.

“The Welsh Government needs to sort out this problem swiftly as a lot of patients in Wales have to rely on English hospitals for our healthcare and treatment.

“I really hope this isn’t the beginning of a problem with other English health trusts ending up in dispute with the Welsh Government and other heath boards in Wales.”

Powys Teaching Health Board (PTHB) buys services from other Health Boards. It works closely with The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTh) and The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (RJAH) in Gobowen near Oswestry.

A joint statement was released to the Local Democracy Service by PTHB, SaTH and RJAH.

They said: “We greatly value our partnership working, which helps us to ensure that people living in border areas receive the high quality care that they need.

“Discussions to agree contract arrangements for 2019/20 are continuing and our joint expectation is that there will be no funding issues that would lead to disruption to cross-border flows for Powys patients.

“We continue to work closely together in accordance with the statement of values and principles issued by the Department of Health (Westminster) and Welsh Government last year.”

By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporter
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