The MS for the Rhondda has grilled the Labour Health Minister over the U-turn on hospital centralisation and secured a promise that the old plans are ‘off the table.’
Leanne Wood put Vaughan Gething under pressure during the final week of the Senedd before the election on May 6. At the beginning of 2020, the Labour-backed hospital centralisation plans proposed removing consultant-led services from the A&E department of the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in Llantrisant.
Following strong campaigning from the people of the Rhondda and beyond, backed by Plaid Cymru, the plans were dropped just a few months later.
During the Senedd question session, Leanne sought a guarantee from the Labour Health Minister that the centralisation plans would be shelved for good.
She said: “A year on from lockdown and a lot has changed. The beginning of 2020 saw many of us in the Rhondda and beyond fighting for consultant-led A&E services to be retained at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital. Your Labour Government centralisation plans are now, thankfully, off the table, and hopefully, this time, it's for good.
“The past year has shown how vital hospital capacity is and how important local health services are and we need to learn those lessons. In Plaid Cymru, we want to go further and establish a cancer diagnosis centre in the Rhondda, so will you support that?
“And, have you now come round to supporting consultant-led emergency medicine in hospitals like the Royal Glamorgan being retained indefinitely?
“And if you have, will you commit now that, if you are in Government following the election in May, you will rule out bringing back these A&E closure plans full stop, indefinitely, they will not be on the table in future as far as you're concerned?”
In reply, Mr Gething said: “I don't believe any of us should be under any illusion that there is a threat to consultant-led A&E services.”
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