Rebecca Evans, Welsh Labour's Assembly candidate for Gower, has welcomed the news that patients with suspected heart problems will in future have access to cardiology services closer to their homes, reducing waiting times and pressure on hospitals as part of a new initiative unveiled by Welsh Labour’s Deputy Health Minister Vaughan Gething.
Rebecca Evans said: "The demand for hospital cardiology services is increasing. Until now, all patient referrals have all been managed by consultant cardiologists. However, a significant proportion of people who have been attending hospital-based services only need a diagnostic assessment and reassurance or advice about a management plan, rather than formal review by a consultant cardiologist. This has involved some patients having to travel considerable distances to hospital on more than one occasion for assessment.
"This exciting new pilot community cardiology scheme in Swansea involves specially-trained GPs managing people with heart problems, allowing consultant cardiologists to deal with patients who have more complex conditions. This will help deliver further cuts in waiting times to see consultant cardiologists."
The Welsh Labour Government is investing the majority of what is a £1m funding boost for the Heart Disease Delivery Plan in new community cardiology services. This will provide diagnostics and assessment closer to people’s homes in primary care. Triage for these tests and reporting will be carried out by GPs with a special interest in cardiology, supported by consultant cardiologists.