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National robotic assisted surgery programme to be established in Wales

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A national robotic-assisted surgery programme allowing surgeons to perform complex procedures with more precision and control is being introduced in Wales, the Health Minister has announced.

The All-Wales Robotic Assisted Surgery Network, developed by health boards, the Life Sciences Hub Wales and the Moondance Cancer Initiative, will provide less invasive surgery for thousands of cancer patients across the country.

The surgery involves the use of highly advanced robotic surgical instruments under the control of a surgeon. It will initially be used in Wales for some Colorectal, Upper Gastrointestinal, Urological and Gynaecological cancers.

The Welsh Government will support the network with funding of £4.2m over five years, alongside £13.35m provided by health boards over 10 years.

Health and Social Services Minister Eluned Morgan said: "The All-Wales Robotic Assisted Surgery Network is an ambitious and important programme helping to improve outcomes for patients and the NHS in Wales. It will put Wales at the forefront of international research for the use of robotic surgical techniques. This pioneering service will also encourage specialist staff to come to Wales to train and practice".

It will initially be provided in the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board area, with the first patient expected to receive treatment in June. Once fully established, patients in north Wales will no longer need to travel to England to receive robotic-assisted surgery.

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Source: Welsh Government, 14 March 2022

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