Cwm Taf University Health Board following a lengthy meeting on Thursday 13th Feb accepted the majority of the recommendations of the South Wales Programme but issued a statement saying they did not vote in favour of Option 3 which removes certain critical care services from the Royal Glamorgan. However, some of those present say this gives a false impression of what has been decided.
Welsh Liberal Democrat Counclllor Mike Powell, who was present as an observer at the meeting said:
"Whilst concern was expressed about Option 3 then there was no vote taken agaist the proposal. Instead the Board said they would feed back to the SWP their feeling that Option 3 should not be the starting point for negotiations. Instead they wanted to see the starting point being one of 'one hospital on two sites.'
"This would still mean the reconfiguration of services, with some moving into the Royal Glamorgan and others moving out. There was no bottom line as to which they would want to retain, and with Cwm Taf being only one of five health Board and the others all having accepted Option 3 then they are hardly in a firm bargaining position.
"It was agreed that neo natal care was the biggest area of contention. The Chief Exec said that it would take 3 to 5 years to move services and that whilst that is taking place they would look at closer joint working with Cardiff and Bridgend.
"It was stressed by both the Chief Executive and the Chair of Cwm Taf Health Board that they could not pursue Option 4 - retention of services at Royal Glamorgan - alone. Also that they would need the support of other Boards to make Prince Charles sustainable.
"I believe that the comments from the Health Board are somewhat misleading, and people should not be fooled into thinking there will be no changes. Cwm Taf UHB are isolated in any fight to keep services as locally as possible. "
"RCT Welsh Lib Dems have been very supportive of the need for change but have always said that back up services must be in place first. Whilst there was some discussion of this at the meeting it was also clear that there is no real implementation plan in place."