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Monday 24th October 2016

Frustrated doctor deserts Wales

7th November 2006

01082006_PETScan1.jpgSome cancer services in Wales are under-resourced, according to a former clinical director, who has called for an ’honest debate’ about the state of the NHS in his country.

Professor Robert Leonard, a former clinical director of cancer services at Swansea NHS Trust and director of the South West Wales Cancer Institute left his posts in August to work in England because he was frustrated with the NHS in Wales.

The trust has agreed its cancer services needed investment, while the Welsh Assembly has said tackling cancer remains a top priority.

Professor Leonard told Radio Wales waiting times for vital treatment were twice that of England in some areas, while one hospital lacked access to an MRI scanner – considered basic kit in many places. But he denied he was critical of Swansea NHS Trust and believed people there were doing their best under difficult circumstances.

He said there was around a six-week wait in Swansea for radical radiotherapy treatment, whereas it was down to around two to three weeks in west London where he now works.

The specialist also said too many resources were pumped into medical research in Cardiff, instead of elsewhere in Wales.

The Welsh Assembly said they were currently reviewing radiotherapy equipment, MRI and CT Scanners to ensure they are up to date and their capacity increased to meet waiting time targets.

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