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Maternity Report to be presented at Extraordinary Health Board Meeting

2019 Ebrill 29 10:00 AM

An extraordinary meeting of Cwm Taf Morgannwg Health Board has been called for Tuesday 30 April. A full report is expected on maternity services across the RCT and Merthyr area and it is not expected to make for pleasant reading. There are concerns that the Trust may be put into special measures.

Concerns were raised in October of last year when a review found forty three cases where there had been an "adverse outcome", which includes a baby being born early, being small at birth or unwell. Twenty six babies died at birth or shortly afterwards. The review covered the period between January 1, 2016, and 30 September 2018.

Inspectors found that staff at the Royal Glamorgan were "fatigued, highly emotional and fragile."

Welsh Liberal Democrat Councillor Mike Powell was part of the campaign to save maternity and special baby care facilities at the Royal Glamorgan several years ago and has expressed concern in the past about staffing levels.

"There are some terrific staff at hospitals throughout the Cwm Taf area but there are simply not enough of them and they are not receiving the support they deserve from management and the Trust board.

"There are reports of high sickness levels and staff having to do substantial amounts of overtime just to keep the departments ticking over. This is not new, the reason given for the reorganisation of services under the South Wales Programme was that there was a lack of specialist staff. That was six years ago, what has been done by the Trust and indeed the Welsh Labour Government to address the problem in the interim?"

Local Welsh Liberal Democrat Campaign Manager Karen Roberts, who was also heavily involved in the campaign to save RGC services, including an attempt to secure a judicial review, added

"People need to have faith that essential services such as these are properly resourced and fit for purpose. It is obvious that this is not the case.

"However it should be made clear where the blame lies. Not with front line staff who in many cases are being pushed to breaking point, but with management up to and including the Chief Executive. Also Trust Board members, who should be fighting for more resources and constantly lobbying the Health Minister to act.

"We hope that there will be no looking for scapegoats amongst front line staff here but that those who are responsible are held accountable."