Llandough Hospital to resume ops after metal theft

A hospital hit by metal thieves is to resume operations on Thursday.

More than 80 patients, include eight with cancer, had their operations cancelled at Llandough Hospital in the Vale of Glamorgan after a generator was targeted.

Hospital managers said Tuesday's theft of 100m of cabling was "dangerous and irresponsible".

Replacing the cables could cost up to £20,000 although their scrap value is expected to be far less.

Meanwhile, it has emerged metal thieves have also targeted BBC Wales in similar circumstances.

Thieves used a vehicle parked off the BBC site in Cardiff to carry away a 280m copper cable used on a back-up generator.

Earlier, health managers were forced to cancel a full day's list of routine surgery at Llandough.

Engineers at the hospital near Cardiff spent the day installing and testing a new back-up generator before the go-ahead for routine surgery to resume was given.

It was too late for Wednesday's morning list of 36 operations, including two breast cancer operations, which was cancelled as a precaution.

Another 45 operations scheduled for the afternoon were also cancelled after a meeting.

The University Health Board (UHB) deputy chief executive and executive director of planning Paul Hollard said hospital staff would strive to ensure that all patients affected are rescheduled as quickly as possible.

He said: "Staff and patients alike are appalled by this dangerous and irresponsible act and it beggars belief that anyone could stoop so low as to potentially put patients' lives at risk in this way.

"In view of the potential risk to patients, the UHB had no option but to suspend all operations today and is working hard to ensure the secondary back-up facilities are in place and fully functioning for tomorrow."

The theft was reported to South Wales Police just after 14.00 GMT on Tuesday.

BBC Wales has also been targeted by metal thieves recently.

The theft, discovered on 5 Nov, did not take programmes off air but reduced the broadcaster's ability to cope with a power failure, said site operations manager John Morgan.

He estimated the cable would have been worth "a few hundred pounds" in scrap but will cost £30,000 to replace not including the repair and re-installation costs, he said.

"Sites of this size do tend to have wires trailing between buildings. In the same way they targeted Llandough hospital for that reason, they targeted us.

"It's a police matter now. We have taken a number of measures to try and minimise the potential of it to happen again."

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