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'Bed-blocking due to poor day surgery'.

Byline: By GARETH ROGERS South Wales Echo

South Wales' bed-blocking crisis is a result of poor day surgery rates, the auditor general for Wales has claimed. In a criticism of the Welsh Assembly Government's health record, Jeremy Colman said Wales was lagging well behind England in using day surgery. He said the failure to do more surgery in day centres was leaving patients being held on hospital wards for too long.

In his report, released today, he said: 'Day surgery reduces the risk of hospital acquired infections and minimises the length of a patients stay in hospital.

'Key leaders in health communities are not focusing enough on improving day surgery rates.'

His report argued that bed-blocking could be tackled by looking at the way beds are used, the adequacy of recovery areas and the opening hours of day surgery units.

Cardiff Central AM Jenny Randerson, the Welsh Liberal Democrat health spokeswoman, said: 'A lot of people think if they are let out early they are not being cared for properly. Day surgery seems to be the answer to freeing up bed space and getting patients home earlier.'
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Sep 7, 2006
Words:187
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