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Community Health Council response to hospital services downgrade


Cwm Taf CHC is disappointed with the outcome of discussions on the South Wales Programme (SWP), published today, which would mean the loss of consultant-led A and E and in-patient paediatric services at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, Llantrisant.
The SWP Programme Board and health boards in South Wales have agreed a way forward which would see consultant-led maternity and neonatal care, inpatient children's services and emergency medicine concentrated on five hospital sites in Cardiff, Swansea, Merthyr, Bridgend and at the proposed Specialist Critical Care Centre in Llanfrechfa.
At its public Full Council meeting in November last year, Cwm Taf CHC had unanimously supported another option, with the five hospitals being:
University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff
Morriston Hospital, Swansea
The proposed Specialist Critical Care Centre in Llanfrechfa.
Prince Charles Hospital, Merthyr
Royal Glamorgan Hospital, Llantrisant
A number of key factors had influenced the CHC's decision, including concerns about access to services from Valleys communities, travel and transport difficulties, the high levels of ill health in Cwm Taf, the strength of local support for locally-based specialist services and concerns about the capacity available at the University Hospital of Wales site.
Chief Officer of Cwm Taf CHC Dr Paul Worthington said:
"We do welcome some key elements of the proposal; the emphasis on a more collaborative approach to delivering services and the recognition of the key strategic role which Prince Charles Hospital must play, as well as the work on local service models for emergency medicine and paediatric assessment.
At the same time, we are concerned about the potential loss of consultant-led A and E and in-patient paediatrics from Royal Glamorgan Hospital. Equally, although a collaborative approach to neonatal provision is a positive step, what has been outlined today is lacking in detail. Likewise, the new shape of services must be backed by well-developed community and primary care services, and this needs to be addressed much more strongly.
We recognise there are some very positive messages in what the Programme Board is saying. However, there was also a clear message throughout the consultation - the people of Cwm Taf want to see both Prince Charles and Royal Glamorgan Hospitals continue to deliver these specialist services. As a CHC we will need to look in detail at the outcome of these discussions and agree what our next steps should be".
Mel Jehu, Chair of Cwm Taf CHC said:
We recognise that these have been very complex and difficult discussions. We are keenly aware of the challenges involved in tackling these issues and coming to this point. Nonetheless, as a CHC we have to make our own decision, and a decision that we feel represents the interests and views of our local communities.
My belief is that our members will still back the decision they took in November of last year, but we will need to hear their views on this decision. We will be talking to the Health Board but will also take this outcome back to Cwm Taf CHC Full Council in March to consider our response."

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