Emergency general surgery under review in north Wales
A health board already looking at the future of maternity, child health care and cancer services says emergency general surgery is also under review.
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board says it must ensure its surgeons are able to provide a safe, high quality service for the people of north Wales.
The conclusions of the review will be presented to the board in November.
Last week it said it was looking at the Alaw cancer unit in Ysbyty Gwynedd, Bangor, as part of a wider review.
This week board said there was a need to make sure emergency general surgery services can support the three emergency departments across north Wales at Ysbyty Gwynedd; Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, Bodelwyddan and Ysbyty Wrexham Maelor in Wrexham.
"A number of recent developments affect the sustainability and long-term safety of our current arrangements," said Dr Tony Shambrook, chief of staff for the surgical clinical programme group at the board.
"These affect all NHS organisations and there is no doubt that we need to change the way we provide services," he added.
He said the "highest priorities" were patient safety and providing the highest possible quality of service within the resources available.
A health board spokesman added that "specialist surgery teams" were being developed so that patients were seen by surgeons who are "experts in their field".
"Developments in modern healthcare also mean that some surgical teams need to focus on their specialist area, without the added responsibility of also providing emergency general surgery," he said.
One example of this would be a dedicated north Wales vascular surgical service to provide cover for emergency life threatening cases such as ruptured aortic aneurysm, he added.
To allow the continued development of those specialist services and ensure that junior doctors receive appropriate training the review of the present system was necessary, he said.
Service users and staff, and all other interested parties will be invited to present their views at two workshops which will be held as part of the review.