HEALTH MINISTER JEREMY HUNT STEPS IN TO HELP KELLY
Health Minister Jeremy Hunt has written to his Welsh counterpart Mark Drakeford to urge him to end a Tenby mum's 17-month wait for a bowel operation.
The case of Kelly Thomas from St Florence was raised in Prime Minister's Questions in January by Simon Hart, Conservative candidate for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire when he was the MP before Parliament dissolved for the election.
Hospitals in Hywel Dda Health Board have said that they are unable to carry out the operation as they don't have the facilities to care for Kelly afterwards.
But Abertawe Bro Morgannwg Health Board in Swansea, where she can have the operation, says their list is too long and they cannot give her a date for the foreseeable future.
"Kelly has been stuck in limbo in the Welsh NHS system for a year and a half, is unable to work and is in daily pain and discomfort," said Mr Hart.
Now, in one of his last letters before the dissolution of Parliament, Mr Hunt has written to the Welsh Assembly Government urging it to resolve the situation.
Mr Hunt wrote: "I fully appreciate the Welsh NHS makes the final decision not to fund healthcare in England. However I do feel in cases like this, it is a shame that you would refuse to enable patients, like Kelly, to overcome the long waiting lists in Wales by making funds available for treatment in England."
Mr Hunt points out that St Marks Hospital in London has agreed to take Kelly if the Welsh NHS will fund the operation.
Mr Hart added: "There really can no longer be any excuses. Jeremy Hunt has made the offer very plainly so I hope that Mr Drakeford will consider funding Kelly's operation in England with immediate effect. It seems ridiculous that a point of principle is preventing her from getting the treatment she so desperately needs."
Simon Hart MP
House of Commons
15, St John St
or 0207 219 3000