Campaigner's fears for Withybush cancer care

First published in News

There are concerns that the future of Withybush’s oncology service could be “in crisis” following the imminent departure of two key members of staff.

Associate specialist in oncology and end of life care, Dr Anne Barnes MBE, is to retire at the end of July while Dr Maung Moe, a visiting consultant from Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board, is leaving his position at Withybush at the end June

Lynn Neville, who works for Pembrokeshire Cancer Support, has described Dr Barnes, who was awarded the MBE for services to cancer patients in Pembrokeshire in last year, as “the glue that sticks oncology cancer services together”.

“Dr Barnes is a true professional,” he said. “Cancer patients will be aware she rarely takes leave, gets in early and leaves late, comes in to work on her days off..She will not let her patients down.”

Mr Neville said that Dr Barnes has been working alone to run Ward 10 for far too long and that Dr Moe’s departure “leaves us in an even bigger hole”.

“Many cancer patients come under the care of Dr Moe so what happens now?” he said.

“We face a crisis with the delivery of services for cancer patients at Withybush Hospital.”

He added that staff morale on Ward 10 and the cancer day unit is at a “very low ebb” and that some cancer patients now had to travel to Llanelli to see consultants they would recently have seen locally.

“Is this the next service to be lost to our local hospital?” asked Mr Neville. “Everyone needs to act now because once it’s gone it won’t be coming back."

Hywel Dda Health Board said that it is in the process of drafting adverts for Dr Barnes and Dr Moe’s posts and that it is already aware of prospective applicants. However, the Western Telegraph has seen a copy of a letter sent to Mr Neville last April which admits that the trust is facing “serious recruitment challenges”.

A Hywel Dda oncology service review group has been set up which the trust says is likely to finish its work at the end of the year.

“There are a number of different components to this work and its likely these will be implemented in a staged way,” said a trust spokesman.

“The University Health Board’s review and planning are based on the premise that oncology services will remain at Withybush Hospital.”

Comments (5)

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2:51pm Fri 6 Jun 14

Gogledd says...

This is a dreadful shame. Also its an absolute disgrace that the Welsh Government would allow this to happen. People voted for a Welsh Government because in their ignorance they thought it would give us better services and we would be better able to look after our people. Quite the opposite Wales is now worse off than England and anyone in their right mind would not want to come and live and work in Wales. Its bad enough in England but the Welsh Govt is hell bent on destroying Wales. People are going to start to die and its their fault!
This is a dreadful shame. Also its an absolute disgrace that the Welsh Government would allow this to happen. People voted for a Welsh Government because in their ignorance they thought it would give us better services and we would be better able to look after our people. Quite the opposite Wales is now worse off than England and anyone in their right mind would not want to come and live and work in Wales. Its bad enough in England but the Welsh Govt is hell bent on destroying Wales. People are going to start to die and its their fault! Gogledd
  • Score: 19

10:04pm Fri 6 Jun 14

patnurse says...

Withybush is doomed to closure!!! The management has no concern for the staff or the people of Pembrokeshire so it would save a lot of disappointment if we all accepted this . It is decided and it doesn't matter what we try to do it will not change the course they have plotted for Withybush. I am just so glad ,selfishly I admit that I no longer work there.
Withybush is doomed to closure!!! The management has no concern for the staff or the people of Pembrokeshire so it would save a lot of disappointment if we all accepted this . It is decided and it doesn't matter what we try to do it will not change the course they have plotted for Withybush. I am just so glad ,selfishly I admit that I no longer work there. patnurse
  • Score: 1

11:01am Sat 7 Jun 14

Honest Local says...

This whole issue with our local health services is scandalous. I cannot really understand why we are going down this centralisation path and this Hywle DDad LHB are not fit for purpose. The chairman lives in Haverfordwest and there are many other members of this Board living in Pembrokeshire so I am told - why are they supporting this ? They have this grand head office in Haverfordwest but I bet they will soon close that - and I know someone who worked there when they installed all this posh furniture and oak doors. The staff in Withybush are not informed of what is happening and communication is non existent. The chiefs do not even come to public meetings. I feel sorry for the poor old GP surgeries who are having to pick up all the pieces.
This whole issue with our local health services is scandalous. I cannot really understand why we are going down this centralisation path and this Hywle DDad LHB are not fit for purpose. The chairman lives in Haverfordwest and there are many other members of this Board living in Pembrokeshire so I am told - why are they supporting this ? They have this grand head office in Haverfordwest but I bet they will soon close that - and I know someone who worked there when they installed all this posh furniture and oak doors. The staff in Withybush are not informed of what is happening and communication is non existent. The chiefs do not even come to public meetings. I feel sorry for the poor old GP surgeries who are having to pick up all the pieces. Honest Local
  • Score: 3

1:41pm Sat 7 Jun 14

The Worrier says...

This whole thing is a complete farce - Hywel Dda are drafting job adverts - what does that really mean? For the past few years almost all that this organisation has told us has been a sham. Are they really going to recruit now having driven Dr Barnes and her colleague away, or will this be another service that disappears to Carmarthen or Swansea. When will someone from this health board stand up and tell us the real truth - or will they send us leaflets through the post again with junk mail ! Who is really in charge of this organisation - it is time the health minister got a grip on it surely!
This whole thing is a complete farce - Hywel Dda are drafting job adverts - what does that really mean? For the past few years almost all that this organisation has told us has been a sham. Are they really going to recruit now having driven Dr Barnes and her colleague away, or will this be another service that disappears to Carmarthen or Swansea. When will someone from this health board stand up and tell us the real truth - or will they send us leaflets through the post again with junk mail ! Who is really in charge of this organisation - it is time the health minister got a grip on it surely! The Worrier
  • Score: 10

7:41pm Sun 8 Jun 14

teifion says...

Wales NHS spends more per "customer" than England BUT why are we not getting proper cardiac centres, stroke centres or 24 life saving cancer drugs that are readily available in England - might I suggest one reason has been as many trusts in Wales as in England - how many ppl in Wales 3/4 million (?) at most yet we almost as many as the whole of England - it's an excuse for the boyos to be greedy and milk the system (no wonder the b******s insist on private health insurance for themselves and their families when they're killing the NHS and people ) - the majority of the oiks will believe we die younger in Wales because we are "sicker"

Excuses to bluestone for bringing for not "sticking to the subject" that's because in the real World things are linked ;-)
Wales NHS spends more per "customer" than England BUT why are we not getting proper cardiac centres, stroke centres or 24 life saving cancer drugs that are readily available in England - might I suggest one reason has been as many trusts in Wales as in England - how many ppl in Wales 3/4 million (?) at most yet we almost as many as the whole of England - it's an excuse for the boyos to be greedy and milk the system (no wonder the b******s insist on private health insurance for themselves and their families when they're killing the NHS and people ) - the majority of the oiks will believe we die younger in Wales because we are "sicker" Excuses to bluestone for bringing for not "sticking to the subject" that's because in the real World things are linked ;-) teifion
  • Score: 3

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