Following a consultation exercise last year which saw over 61,000 responses flood in the Heath Boards across South Wales were supposed to report back in December on their proposed way forward.
The consultation looked at the reorganisation of critical care services across the region, including major trauma, special baby care units and consultant led maternity and paediatric services. The preferred option put out to consultation would see these services removed from the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in Llantrisant.
The South Wales Programme board were due to meet in mid-December but cancelled the meeting at the last minute saying that there were still issues to be ironed out. This was generally taken to mean that there were still major disagreements between the Health Boards involved. Cwm Taf Community Health Council had already given a very definite 'no' to plans to downgrade the Royal Glamorgan. Cwm Taf University Health Board would face considerable public, and indeed staff, anger if they did not do the same.
With the latest ambulance statistics for December putting RCT again at the bottom of the table for response times and recent news reports of problems at the Princess of Wales in Bridgend then people are understandably worried about the future of health provision.
There is still no word on when or whether the promised new hospital in Cwmbran will be built - that is one of the cornerstones of the proposals and if it is not then the whole plan is in disarray. As a result rumours are growing.
The announcement of any proposal from the combined Health Boards who form the South Wales Programme will undoubtedly not be the end of the mater, but it is only fair that the public are told what is going on as soon as possible.
due to meet in mid-December