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Call to reinstate diabetic eye service “immediately”

 
Created on 14/09/2020 @ 10:12
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A call has been made to reinstate diabetic eye services “immediately” at Welshpool hospital with around 800 people said to be impacted by its suspension due to Covid-19.

The retinopathy services for diabetic patients is one of many that have been put on hold over the past six months, but Cllr Elwyn Vaiughan, standing for Plaid Cymru in Montgomeryshire at the next Welsh Government elections, said that it is one service that needs to be prioritised.

Cllr Vaughan said: “It is deeply concerning that retinopathy services for diabetic patients have been at a stop for a number of months and naturally a worrying time for huge numbers of patients and their families.

“I understand that it could well affect 800 patients in Welshpool alone and will likewise affect others that are served by other centres around Wales.

“The retinopathy services are based at Pontypridd and serve Mid Wales, there are no plans to resume services in the near future. Yes, we have Covid, but that doesn’t mean that all other health services have to come to an end and it’s imperative that patients are able to access these key essential services.

“I will therefore be asking Helen Mary Jones MS to raise the matter with Vaughan Gething the Health Minister and highlighting the concerns so that we alleviate them and act immediately to catch up on the backlog of work.”

Public Health Wales said that it was phasing services back and that screening would be restarted “as soon as possible”.

They state: “Inviting all individuals that are overdue for eye screening will take many months.

“Over that time, the way that eye screening is delivered may change again to make sure that our clinics meet the latest Coronavirus guidelines.

“If you are worried that you may have symptoms of diabetic retinopathy, such as a change to your vision, please contact your local Optometry practice without delay.

“Most Optometry practices across Wales are now open.  Both urgent and routine optometry appointments are available across Wales, although the opening times for your normal practice may have changed.

“Screening will be restarted as soon as possible.

“From September, you will receive information about eye screening in your area by personal letter from DESW.”

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