The Rhondda MS has called on the Labour Health Minister to guarantee the future of A&E at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital.
Leanne Wood made the request while responding to a statement from the Welsh Government on progress within the maternity department o Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board. Earlier this year, the planned reduction in consultant-led A&E services by the health board – which was backed by the Labour Government in charge of health in Wales – was shelved. The U-turn followed passionate protest and debate from people living in Rhondda Cynon Taf.
During her statement in the Senedd, Leanne also called for a commitment from the Health Minister that the Tirion Birth Centre on the site of the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, which is currently closed, would be opened and have increased staff to deal with winter pressure.
She said: “The Minister's statement also praises the board for making improvements against the backdrop of COVID. It is, of course, the case that the staff in our NHS need to be thanked every day for the unprecedented work that has gone on this past year.
“But I do fear that the Minister has omitted another significant pressure that staff in the Royal Glamorgan Hospital have had to deal with, and that has been the uncertainty over its future role and question marks over the services there.
“It has been an entirely unnecessary distraction. So, can the Minister confirm today that staff will not have this distraction placed over their heads again in the future, and that accident and emergency services will be part of the Royal Glamorgan in the future post pandemic?”
In reply the Health Minster did not provide any guarantees about the future of A&E at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, but said: “The questions about emergency medicine have been resolved by the health board because of the successful recruitment that has been made, and I just don't think it's appropriate or does the women that we're supposed to be talking about today any favours to try to relive long-finished arguments.”
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