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Health Minister washes her hands over health concerns

March 4, 2010 2:20 PM

Welsh Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate Mike Powell has raised concerns about the lack of clarity over asbestos removal in hospitals in Rhondda Cynon Taff.

In May 2009 three members of NHS staff were suspended after it was discovered that asbestos removal from hospitals including Dewi Sant, and the former East Glamorgan hospital had not been tackled.

Cllr Powell is concerned that this issue seems to have been swept under the carpet

"The levels of asbestos involved here were dangerously high - asbestos as we all know is a killer. A programme for its removal should have been implemented over the past six years, but it was revealed last year that nothing had been done.

Whilst the East Glamorgan hospital itself has now gone, the laundry unit is still operating there, and that is where much of the asbestos was found. Staff there are rightly concerned, but nobody seems to be able to give any answers on what is happening."

Welsh Liberal Democrat Health spokesperson Peter Black AM asked questions of the Health Minister, only to be told that it is a matter for the Cwm Taf Health Board.

Speaking in a debate on the subject of the lack of accountability and transparency in the National Health Service in Wales, Mr Black said

"I recently received a response to questions that I tabled on asbestos in hospitals in the Cwm Taf health board area, but the response that I received was that this is a matter for the health board, not the Minister.

Clearly, that is frustrating for us as opposition Members, and it is also frustrating for those whom we represent, who are expecting the Welsh Government to deliver a better, more accountable and higher quality health service than we have had hitherto."