Welsh Shadow Minister in liver disease fact-finding visit to hospital

Darren Millar, Welsh Assembly Member for Clwyd West and Shadow Minister for Health and Social Services, visited Wrexham Maelor Hospital last Friday to find out more about the treatment services on offer for people in North Wales with hepatitis C, as well as other liver disease patients.

Shown round the hospital by Dr Thiriloganathan Mathialahan (Consultant Gastroenterologist), Bokani Hanyane (Hepatology Support Nurse), and Graham Alexander (Hospital Director), Mr Millar met patients and learned more about the impact of hepatitis C and liver disease more broadly, as well as finding out more about the difference that new hepatitis C treatment and the new Welsh Liver Disease Delivery Plan are having on the ground.

Following the visit, Mr Millar said:

“Liver disease is the fifth ‘big killer’ in England and Wales, after heart, cancer, stroke and respiratory disease. It was great to meet the team in Wrexham and to be shown the fantastic facilities on offer here in North Wales to help people with liver disease.

I would like to thank all staff for taking time out of their busy schedules to show me around. Like all our NHS staff, they are doing amazing work in an often pressurised environment.

It is important that further work is done to develop a dedicated Liver Unit for north Wales and to prepare for the impact of the new Wrexham super prison on services. I look forward to supporting the Health Board in undertaking this work.”

Neil Cowan, Policy and Parliamentary Adviser at The Hepatitis C Trust, said:

“With around 12,000 people in Wales estimated to have hepatitis C, the virus is a serious public health concern. However, with the launch of the new Welsh Liver Disease Delivery Plan and the expectation that new treatments will become much more widely available, there is a real opportunity to significantly increase the numbers of people tested, diagnosed, treated and cured. The support of AMs like Darren will be vital to achieving this.”