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STATEMENT ON ROYAL GLAMORGAN HOSPITAL 11 February 2020

It’s understandable that many people have questions about the proposals for our emergency department at Royal Glamorgan Hospital.

Our staff are hugely committed and are continuing to work exceptionally hard for our patients and communities but they tell us that this is in difficult and stressful circumstances. There are not enough medical staff, training opportunities are limited and sadly the circumstances which our staff are working in and the risks these pose are too high. External reports from independent people have agreed that this is the case so action must be taken for patients, for staff and for communities.

It’s important to emphasise that no decisions about the best solution and actions have been made. It is also really important that people understand why action has to be taken. At the moment conversations are taking place with staff and communities, listening to people’s concerns and most importantly their suggestions about how emergency services can be delivered for our communities safely and sustainably, with the right numbers of staff, into the future.

The proposals being looked at are about accident and emergency care at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital and there will be NO change to ITU, theatres and surgery services. There will be no job losses and Royal Glamorgan Hospital will certainly not be closing. In fact, services have been developed at the Hospital recently, with the diagnostic hub, the acute medicine model and the Tirion Birth Centre.

The reason for this work is to make sure the services provided are safe for patients and communities and that staff can work in safe, supportive environments. The staffing challenges we face make the current way services are provided unrealistic in the long-term.

Today, active recruitment for permanent consultants to work across our emergency departments is underway. However, there is a national shortage of emergency medicine consultants and the experience of others shows that this recruitment is likely to be very difficult. We are urging everyone to make suggestions on how recruitment can be as successful as possible. Equally, realism about recruitment means we have to look at a different way of delivering emergency services.

To support safety, patients and staff, our emergency medicine consultants are now working across Cwm Taf Morgannwg. Consultants based at Princess of Wales Hospital are providing some support to services delivered in Royal Glamorgan Hospital as an interim arrangement while a safe and sustainable way of providing emergency services is developed.

Through public and staff events, it is clear that transport, accessibility and equality are serious concerns for our communities so this will be a significant consideration in any developing service model.

Many people come to the Royal Glamorgan emergency department with injuries or illnesses that could potentially be treated in the community and primary care facilities so work is also underway to strengthen our community services, beginning with services at Ysbyty Cwm Rhondda.

As new ways of providing safe and sustainable services are developed, we are committed to making sure that as many people as possible can still access their emergency needs at Royal Glamorgan Hospital. This will include increasing the number of people who can be admitted directly to medical and surgical wards if referred by their GP or brought in for medical or surgical conditions by ambulance.

There are public engagement sessions being held, with more being arranged (details on this page), please come along, actively participate and discuss solutions and actions.

You can also email any suggestions and ideas you have about how emergency care can be delivered safely for our communities given the very difficult issues that need to be taken into account. The email address is CTM_Engagement@wales.nhs.uk