Wefan Gymraeg

Kirsty Williams responds to South Wales health re-organisation plans

Responding to the recommendations made by the South Wales Programme Board, Kirsty Williams, leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, said:

"Many of these changes will be a bitter blow to local people. I am concerned that once again people are feeling that they are being ignored. The Welsh Labour government has categorically failed to convince people, including politicians in their own party, that these changes are needed.

"These South Wales NHS reorganisation plans are entirely centred on the proposed Critical Care Centre in Cwmbran. Without that centre, these plans are worthless. It is outrageous that people are being told that their local health services are to be downgraded before we have had any information about how the Welsh Labour government is going to fund this hospital. Where is it going to find the £242m needed to build it? I remain to be convinced that this can be done by 2018.

"My greatest concern is that health services will be downgraded or shut before the proposed structures are in place. I am already hearing that this is happening in Nevill Hall Hospital, which is very disturbing. We need a cast-iron guarantee from the Labour Health Minister that not a single service will be downgraded until changes are properly in place.

"I remain unconvinced that the Ambulance Service will be in a position to be able to cope with the added capacity at our already struggling A&E departments. The Health Minister needs to clearly explain exactly how transfers from ambulances to hospitals will improve when there will be fewer A&E departments."

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