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Statement on Royal Glamorgan Hospital emergency services

Dr Sharon Hopkins, Interim CEO, said: “The South Wales Programme was a large-scale consultation designed to address major challenges faced by many hospitals in recruiting and retaining highly skilled staff in certain speciality areas.

“The consultation led to a number of significant outcomes for the Royal Glamorgan Hospital including the transfer of consultant-led maternity, inpatient paediatric services and emergency services to other hospitals in the region and developing the Hospital as a beacon site for innovative models of care in acute medicine and diagnostic services.

“Some of these changes have already been delivered, including the development of our Freestanding Midwifery Unit at Royal Glamorgan Hospital and the transfer of consultant-led maternity and neonatal services to Princess of Wales Hospital and our new unit at Prince Charles Hospital. We have also invested in key services at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, including the development of a £6m diagnostic hub, and a new 50-bed acute medicine unit.

“Staff across the Health Board have worked exceptionally hard to continue to deliver consultant-led 24 hour emergency services and inpatient paediatric services from the Royal Glamorgan Hospital as well as the Princess of Wales and Prince Charles Hospitals. However, continuing and growing service and staffing pressures have meant that this situation is becoming increasingly unsustainable and safe services in their current configuration cannot be maintained beyond the immediate short term without unacceptable risks to patient safety.

“The Health Board will therefore be considering a number of options on how to progress the remaining recommendations of the South Wales Programme at its Board meeting next week.

“Following the Board meeting we will be working closely with staff, the public and all key partners to ensure they are fully engaged in developing our future model of care and working through all implications to ensure quality is central and strengthening community based services at every opportunity.”