Leanne Wood has welcomed a wide-ranging external review into maternity services at Cwm Taf University Health Board.
The review, which will be undertaken by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Royal College of Midwives, follows on from the news that the hospital trust experienced 20 stillbirths and six cases of babies dying shortly after birth between January 2016 and September 2018.
The Labour Government in Wales announced that this review will commence in the next few weeks and the findings will be published in the spring of 2019.
In a statement the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Vaughan Gething, said that the review will ‘also advise on any requirements for extension of the retrospective case reviews (prior to January 2016.’
Rhondda AM Leanne Wood welcome the possible extension to the review period – something she called for from the outset.
She said: “It is important that the review gets to the bottom of why there have been so many baby deaths in such a short space of time. To get the fullest possible explanation, the review needs to be flexible enough to go back as far as necessary to see what the root causes may have been. This was why I called for an extension of the time period for any inquiry.
“This was later endorsed by a number of people who contacted my office to complain of irregular incidents with Cwm Taf’s maternity services outside of the narrow time limit that was initially laid out.
“People told me of incidents happening as far back as a decade or so ago. If these incidents provide some context for the failures within Cwm Taf then it is right that they are taken into account and scrutinised in depth.”
Leanne added: “This is an emotive subject for many people. The news has reopened many emotional scars for parents. The best possible outcome now would be for an extensive review to identify what failings there may be in the system to ensure that they never happen again.”