Cwm Taf CHC today agreed to support implementation of the South Wales Programme (SWP), which will mean the reshaping of a number of hospital services across South Wales.
The SWP Programme Board and health boards in South Wales in March of this year 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.
Cwm Taf CHC had argued strongly for Royal Glamorgan Hospital to be included as one of the five sites, alongside Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr. However, the CHC has recognised the extremely robust support across South Wales for the SWP and health board March 2014 solution; the need for a joint and collaborative way forward means that the CHC has now agreed to support implementation of the SWP as agreed by the health boards and SWP Programme Board.
The CHC has worked closely with Cwm Taf Health Board to try and identify a possible way forward and- as a result of the complex nature of the discussions - had also written to the Minister for Health and Social Services, Mark Drakeford to seek some advice and reassurance in helping the CHC to come to a decision. The CHC has welcomed the strong support it has received from the Minister, Cwm Taf Health Board and the SWP to ensure the delivery and development of local services, especially the focus on improving primary care.
The CHC is now fully supportive of the SWP moving into the next stage – that of implementing and delivering changes and improvements to hospital services across South Wales.
Mel Jehu, Chair of Cwm Taf CHC said:
“We have consistently welcomed 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, diagnostics and paediatric assessment.
We also firmly support the collaborative approach to modernising neonatal services. Likewise, the new shape of services must be backed by well-developed community and primary care services; we welcome the Minister’s support for this aim, especially in areas where ill health and deprivation are most challenging.
We recognise that some local communities will be disappointed with the outcome. There was also a clear message throughout the consultation - the people of Cwm Taf want to see strong, high quality and vibrant local services. We think the outcomes we have now will continue to deliver those key local services. In particular, as a CHC we see major opportunities for Royal Glamorgan Hospital in leading the way locally and nationally in new services in medicine and diagnostics.
Chief Officer of Cwm Taf CHC Dr Paul Worthington said:
“This has not been an easy decision. Our discussions have been bot h complex and difficult, and the debate across all communities during the consultation has been frank, mature and challenging.
Throughout this process we have been consistently committed to securing the best health services for our local population. At the same time, we recognise that finding the best way forward for services across South Wales had to be through a shared and collective solution to the issues identified through the work on the Programme.
As a CHC we think the solutions offered by the SWP include some significant service developments for the people of Cwm Taf. We are keen to see work on these proceeding at pace, ensuring we tackle the real and pressing health issues in our communities.”
Dr Paul Worthington, Chief Officer, Cwm Taf CHC
Tel: 01443 405830
Dated: 23 May 2014