Amputee accuses health board of penny pinching after visit to Swansea limb centre
AN amputee has accused the health board running Swansea's Morriston Hospital of penny pinching in the development of its latest limb centre.
Right leg amputee Tony Flatley used the recently-opened centre and raised issues of access and a lack of a vending machine.
Mr Flatley said: "I must say I was rather surprised to find the main consultations are taking place on the first floor.
"This is hardly beneficial to people who have lost limbs, such as myself, a lower right leg amputee.
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"The vast majority of amputees are diabetic and there are no refreshments available at all.
"There is no food or drink, not even water we can access.
"Once again it comes down to a penny-pinching health board making diabetic amputees suffer, as well as others, who have travelled from all over South West Wales and beyond."
A spokeswoman for Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board said the Artificial Limb and Appliance Centre (ALAC) is an important part of the redevelopment of Morriston Hospital and serves a large population.
She said: "It is part of the new £9.5 million Combined Specialist Rehabilitation Unit which allows complimentary services to be located under one roof to improve accessibility, dignity and privacy for disabled patients.
"Morriston Hospital has a pronounced slope, so the centre is built over three floors.
"It was purposely co-located next to the existing, but upgraded, ALAC workshop where artificial limbs are made.
"The lower level deals with early consultations and children, and the floor above is used for follow-up services, including specialist casting, fitting, physiotherapy and treatment of ongoing patients.
"This floor is linked to the artificial limbs workshop, providing a one-stop area for patients.
"The third floor is only used by staff.
"The building's lift is fully DDA compliant, and in the event of a fire, patients would not use the lift but exit via the adjacent existing ALAC area, which meets approved fire authority strategy.
"The new building is also the first on the Morriston Hospital site to have a full sprinkler system installed.
"The new centre will very shortly have vending machines which will be maintained and stocked by the hospital's catering department (they are currently on order)."