Wales politics

£250k project to cut patient travel in rural Wales

X-rays images shown on a computer monitor Image copyright Powys Teaching Health Board
Image caption X-rays in Brecon can be seen by specialists in Abergavenny

Specialist doctors will be able to examine more patients in rural mid Wales without long distance travel in a new £250,000 technology scheme.

Telehealth services are being explored by health and social care professionals aiming to improve rural treatment.

Health Minister Mark Drakeford said orthopaedic specialists in Abergavenny could already look at X-rays from Brecon, reducing patient travel.

He said the project would allow more people to be treated closer to home.

Telehealth is a way of treating of patients in remote areas in a separate location from the clinicians.

People with long-term conditions can also monitor themselves at home using technology rather than going into hospital.

The money comes from a £10m fund to promote efficiency through technology in the Welsh NHS announced in January.

"This investment will take stock of all practices which use telehealth across NHS Wales and look at how, within the Mid Wales Healthcare Collaborative region, we can scale these projects up to benefit more patients," Mr Drakeford said.

"This funding will increase the number of people who can benefit from this kind of technology, ensuring they receive care closer to home."

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