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Labour titans to clash heads over Royal Glamorgan?

May 24, 2013 2:53 PM

Commenting on the news that the preferred option for the South Wales Programme involved the removal of critical care services from the Royal Glamorgan Hospital Welsh Liberal Democrat Councillor Mike Powell said

"Whilst the amalgamation of specific specialised services makes good clinical sense, it should not be the case that those specialised services are removed from an area of Wales which suffers from such poor health and high deprivation.

"Rhondda Cynon Taff lingers at the bottom of any number of league tables when it comes to the health of the population, and the provision of health services - ambulance response for example times are appalling here.

"We battled alongside residents to try and preserve services at the neo natal unit of the Royal Glamorgan back in 2009 when we were told by the then Health Minister that the downgrade was only temporary. Now they want to go a step further and remove even more services.

"The consultation says that they want to ensure the least amount of disruption and cut down on travelling distances for the largest number of users. Why then are they considering closing the neo natal unit at the Royal Glamorgan when figures show that in 2011 it was operating at an occupancy level of 174.5% as opposed to only20.5% at the Princess of Wales? Surely this is evidence of the need within RCT?

"The Welsh Labour Government has failed to address issues of staff shortages for years, and now one of their own Ministers - the AM for the Rhondda - is battling against proposals they will have to give the go ahead to. One has to wonder what influence the First Minister will have on this - the Princess of Wales Hospital is after all in his constituency.

It is hypocritical indeed for a Minister, or indeed the Labour AM for Pontypridd, to be allegedly fighting against his own Government. They have launched a campaign claiming that 'Labour' says keep the Royal Glamorgan. Which elements of the Labour party will that be then, because it certainly won't be the First Minister."