South Wales Echo - ‘Patients are facing long journeys for kidney ops’
‘Patients are facing long journeys for kidney ops’
Sep 20 2007
by Greg Tindle, South Wales Echo
DESPERATELY-ILL patients are missing out on kidney transplants in Wales because of a lack of modern hospital facilities, it was claimed today.
Patients waiting for surgery are being forced to travel long distances and then treated in “Third World” conditions because of a lack of NHS investment.
Professor John Salaman, the surgeon who pioneered kidney transplants in Cardiff more than 30 years ago, said Wales was now being left behind because of its poor record.
At present there are 400 patients waiting a kidney transplant in Wales for a waiting list that is growing daily. Last year there were 89 transplants carried out.
The charity Kidney Wales Foundation, backed by the Welsh Kidney Patients’ Association, today launched a campaign to highlight the problem.
At present the only facilities in Wales for a transplant is part of a medical ward at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff. The campaigners are demanding that a dedicated transplant unit at UHW is created as an immediate priority.
Prof Salaman, said: “It is shameful that Wales still does not have a dedicated transplant unit and staffing may become a problem in the future with competition from other parts of the country.
“Elsewhere in the UK and in Europe, major hospitals have their own stand-alone transplant units. Wales deserves to have one and must not get left behind.”