Cwm Taf CHC is disappointed that Cwm Taf University Health Board at its meeting today was not able to support the CHC’s own preferred option in response to the South Wales Programme (SWP).
The Health Board considered a series of recommendations from the SWP and backed the majority of the proposals put forward. However, the Board proposed an alternative model which would see the Royal Glamorgan and Princess of Wales Hospitals sharing services as a "starting point" to increased centralisation of certain services.
Consultation undertaken earlier this year on the SWP had set out four potential options for the future delivery of consultant-led maternity and neonatal care, inpatient children's services and emergency medicine.
At its public Full Council meeting in November last year, Cwm Taf CHC had unanimously supported Option 4, with the five hospitals being:
• University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff
• Morriston Hospital, Swansea
• The proposed Specialist Critical care Centre, Llanfrechfa
• Prince Charles Hospital, Merthyr
• Royal Glamorgan Hospital, Llantrisant
Cwm Taf CHC Members themselves had played a key role in the consultation process, listening to and scrutinising an extensive range of views on the proposals
The consultation responses had raised a number of significant issues, including concerns about access to services from Valleys communities, travel and transport difficulties, the high levels of ill health in Cwm Taf and the strength of local support for ensuring locally-based specialist services. These factors had played a key role in Cwm Taf CHC’s decision last year to support Option 4.
Chief Officer of Cwm Taf CHC Dr Paul Worthington said:
“We need to take this decision away for consideration by our CHC Members. We do understand the real difficulty of the issues faced by the Health Board and we recognise how and why they have agreed to support the service model proposed.
At the same time, the CHCs decision in November was clear and unanimous. We supported Option 4 as the model that best served the interests of the people of Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda Cynon Taff. There was a clear message throughout the consultation - the people of Cwm Taf want to see their services at Prince Charles and Royal Glamorgan Hospitals continue to deliver these specialist services. All the evidence we have looked at supports that view”.
Mel Jehu, Chair of Cwm Taf CHC said:
“It is disappointing. We are keenly aware of the challenges involved for Cwm Taf Health Board in taking this decision, and the complexity of the issues being discussed. Nonetheless, as a CHC we have to make our own decision.
My belief is that our members will remain firm in their support for Option 4, but we will need to hear their views. We will be talking to the Health Board but will also take this decision back to Cwm Taf CHC Full Council in February to consider our response.”
Dr Paul Worthington
Chief Officer, Cwm Taf Community Health Council