A report published by the Welsh Government this week spells out the desperate need for more critical care beds in Wales over the next ten years. However, rather than make a commitment to provide any of those beds the Welsh Labour Health Minister, Mark Drakeford, says there is a need first to look at efficiencies.
Critical care beds are not currently being used effectively he says, and "there is a growing consensus of opinion among clinicians that they may be better be concentrated on fewer sites."
This could mean more bad news for services at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital which is about to lose several consultant led department including neo natal, paediatrics, maternity and emergency trauma care.
Welsh Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate for Pontypridd, Mike Powell, says
"It is obvious that the main need for critical care beds is going to be where there are high risk patients who have suffered from, for example, heart attacks, strokes or severe trauma injuries. In future the plans are that such patients would not be taken to the Royal Glamorgan so it follows there will be no requirement for intensive critical care beds.
"The report published this week does not spell out where critical care beds will be located in future, but as RCT Welsh Lib Dems pointed out in our submission to the South Wales Programme consultation on hospital reorganisation, If the number of centres offering critical care beds were to be reduced then undoubtedly the centres chosen would be the ones being talked about to provide consultant led specialist services now."