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Leanne challenges First Minister on Hywel Dda reform

15/01/2013

The Leader of Plaid Cymru has challenged the First Minister to defend the plans unveiled today by Hywel Dda health board which propose to centralise hospital services in the area. Questioning the First Minister on the proposals published by Hywel Dda health board today, the leader of Plaid Cymru said:

“Following the announcement this morning by Hywel Dda local health board about hospital reorganisation, the process has been more or less completed on a local level. There is a clear difference of opinion between consultants working in Prince Philip, and the local health board. The Community Health Council argues that Llanelli should keep a full A&E service. The Labour MP and Assembly Member for the area are openly critical of those proposals in Llanelli. Do you agree with them or do you agree with the health board?”

She continued:

“Hospital staffing figures were published in England at the weekend showing seventeen NHS hospitals with unsafe staffing levels. This was described by your own party as a result of a toxic combination of reorganisation and cuts. The health boards’ risk registers reveal that some hospital services are at risk of becoming unsafe. First Minister, will you publish a comparable list for Wales? And can you tell us today whether there are any unsafe services in Wales now, and will you agree to publish a list for Wales outlining which services are safe or unsafe?”

She said:

“One of the key concerns for many people is the issue of how long it takes to get from people’s homes to hospital. A Sheffield University study shows that the danger of death in an emergency situation increases by one per cent every ten kilometres. This is of great concern, particularly in rural areas, but also in parts of Wales with low car ownership and limited public transport – and especially when we have snow and floods to deal with and the roads are closed. The Sheffield study is clear; lives are really at stake here. How will your centralisation changes make patients safer?”