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Kirsty Williams response to the South Wales Programme

May 22, 2013 4:07 PM

Commenting on the publication of consultation proposals for the reconfiguration of health services in South Wales, Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, said:

"Labour has spectacularly failed our NHS over the past decade and this whole reorganisation process is down to their incompetence.

"If the South Wales plans follow the same pattern as what we've seen in North and Mid Wales, I have real concerns that patients will not be able to be treated in the right place, at the right time, staffed with the appropriate levels of skills.

"There is great concern about the on-going capacity issues within our hospital services in South Wales. Will we have enough beds? Will our A&E departments be able to cope with the patient flows if these are implemented? And will we have enough medical staff on our wards to be able to deal with issues that they cannot deal with currently?

"We've seen beds lost from our District General Hospitals and from our community hospitals with no real idea of where patients will receive their treatment.

"I am also very concerned that a main component of many of these proposed plans include the Specialist Critical Care Centre in Llanfrechfa, a hospital that is yet to be built and a hospital that hasn't been given the go-ahead by the Welsh Labour Government. For years they have promised to deliver and build this hospital, but as always with the Labour party, delivery is not their strong point.

"I understand that reconfiguration is never easy but it can be done if you have an open an honest dialogue with people. I am really concerned that the plans that we have seen to date across other parts of Wales haven't listened to local concerns.

"The following consultation process now across South Wales is going to be crucial for the future delivery of the health service provision in the area. I urge the local health boards to listen and engage with the concerns of people and groups and not repeat the farcical scenes we saw during the Hywel Dda or Besti Cadwaladr Health Board consultation."