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Cwm Taf Health Board must fight to retain services in Rhondda Cynon Taff

RCT N

Health Boards across South Wales and Powys will be holding public meetings on Thursday 13th February to officially consider the recommendations of the South Wales Programme on the reorganisation of hospital services.
Speaking ahead of the meeting Welsh Liberal Democrat Councillor Mike Powell said
"The public response from RCT to the original proposals was huge, and overwhelmingly in favour of retaining critical care services at the Royal Glamorgan rather than the suggested 'best fit' option of moving them to Bridgend.
"There are large areas officially classed as deprived in the Rhondda and Pontypridd, with all the associated poor health problems. Added to that there are transport difficulties which make travelling to the Royal Glamorgan hard enough let alone further afield.
"As I understand it if no agreement can be reached by the Health Boards then the decision on what happens next is passed to the Welsh Labour Government Health Minister. It would be naïve to think that no discussions have taken place behind closed doors prior to the public unveiling of the plans on Thursday, both between Health Boards and I would suspect the Minister or his officials.
"Given what has been said by Cwm Taf Board representatives during the consultation process then I trust that they will certainly oppose plans to take services away from this area. If not then there will certainly be a huge backlash from staff and the public.
"RCT Welsh Liberal Democrats were supportive of the overall premise of the plans - that some services need to be realigned in order to maintain them at safe levels and owing to the shortage of suitably qualified staff. However, we also said that back up community services should be put in place before that happened.
"We also expressed concern about the ambulance service - Rhondda Cynon Taff is consistently at the bottom of the table when it comes to ambulance response times. This has to be addressed if people are to have any faith at all in the Health service being able to deliver on its promises of an improved critical care service."

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