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14th February 2014

South Wales health boards' plans to shake-up services face uncertainty after alternative proposal

Plans to centralise key services at a reduced number of south Wales hospitals which will affect patients across the whole of South Wales and South Powys face uncertainty after one health board rejected a key recommendation.

Cwm Taf Health Board went against the proposals relating to moving some services around A&E, specialist care for mothers, newborn babies and children away from the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in Llantrisant.

Cwm Taf backed the most of the proposals, but instead of moving services from the Royal Glamorgan, it proposed an alternative which would see the Royal Glamorgan and Princess of Wales (which comes under ABM health board) sharing services as a "starting point" to centralising units.

The other four health boards - Abertawe Bro Morgannwg, Cardiff and Vale, Aneurin Bevan and Powys - backed the recommendations that would see services concentrated at up to five hospitals:

  • Swansea (Morriston)
  • Bridgend (Princess of Wales)
  • Merthyr Tydfil (Prince Charles)
  • Cardiff (UHW)
  • a new hospital to be built in Cwmbran

Background on the re-organisation of South Wales key health services plans

The plans to centralise services follow concerns they are spread too thinly across the region. Services considered include obstetrics, neonatal, paediatrics and A&E - although managers insist no individual A&E department would close.

However, some opponents warn patients could face greater risks if they have to travel further for treatment.

Since the start of 2012, senior managers and medical professionals from five health boards - Abertawe Bro Morgannwg, Cwm Taf, Cardiff and Vale, Aneurin Bevan and Powys - have been working together in the South Wales Programme (SWP) to develop proposals involving hospitals from Swansea to Newport.

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