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Council transport scheme helps save local man's sight

Swansea Council's Client transport Team recently jumped into action to help prevent a local man from going blind.

Julie and James Edwards

James Edwards, 64, from Trallwn needed an urgent operation to correct a detached retina in his eye or suffer permanent loss of his sight.

Mr Edwards needed to be transported to hospital in Bristol to receive the vital treatment but pressures on ambulances during the coronavirus emergency meant transport was not immediately available.

Swansea Council has been providing back-up transport for patients in Swansea to attend a variety of hospital appointments and recently stepped in to take Mr Edwards to his appointment in Bristol where he received the treatment needed to save his sight.

His wife Julie has praised everyone involved for helping her husband. She said: He needed to get the operation within so many hours of discovering the problem, or he would have lost his sight. Our local hospital was able to get in touch with the Council who are running a transport service and we were able to get to the hospital in Bristol in time for treatment.

"My husband and I are extremely grateful to both the staff at the local hospital and the Council for organising everything."

The Council operates a number of mini-bus type vehicles which under normal circumstances, are used for social care and community transport purposes within the city and are rarely used for travel outside of Swansea.

Mark Thomas, Cabinet Member for Environment and Infrastructure Management, said: "We have been more than happy to assist our NHS during these difficult times and hopefully take the pressure of their ambulance services by agreeing to transport local patients to various hospital appointments.

"It's great to hear that Mr Edwards was able to attend his appointment and receive the urgent treatment he needed.

"We are continuing to provide this type of transport and hopefully allow the ambulance service to get on with attending emergencies."

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