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Possible changes to Neath Port Talbot Hospital raise concerns

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: February 22, 2013

Neath Port Talbot Hospital

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CONCERNS have been raised about possible changes at Neath Port Talbot Hospital.

Urgent talks have been held between Aberavon AM David Rees and chief executive of Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board, Paul Roberts, over the issue.

An ABMU spokeswoman said that although they were reviewing the use of some wards they were not looking at reducing the overall complement of beds.

But the potential changes follow others last August, when Neath Port Talbot's acute medical services were switched to Swansea and Bridgend because there were said to be too few qualified doctors to run them.

An ABMU spokeswoman said: "We are currently looking at how we can make the best use of all surgical provision in the hospital and Day Surgery Unit. Our aims are to improve quality of care for patients, increase the number of operations offered to reduce waiting times, and improve overall efficiency.

"Part of this work involves reviewing the use of some wards. While this may lead to some beds being used differently in future, we are not looking at reducing the overall complement of beds.

She added: "Orthopaedic surgery at the hospital will be increasing to nearly 60 operations a week, compared to around 40 a week, with an emphasis on procedures requiring short hospital stays.

"We also hope to provide more specialist trauma orthopaedic work as day case surgery in future.

"We are keeping staff updated about the potential changes and will be consulting with them before making any decisions on updating the way surgical services are delivered."

Mr Rees said the importance of the hospital and service delivery was critical.

He said: "I have raised my concerns with ABMU to ensure that they make efficient and effective use of all facilities at Neath Port Talbot Hospital in delivering those services and expressed a strong view that ABMU are not to consider NPT hospital merely as a replacement for Cimla hospital."

He added: "It is time that a clear strategy for service delivery within ABMU is outlined so that everyone can understand the direction we are moving towards."

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  • tellyon  |  February 22 2013, 6:04PM

    Hundreds of millions of pounds are being cut from the NHS in Wales. Downgrading of services are inevitable. A lot more cuts are in store for us. And the super-rich are laughing their socks off.

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  • Dan01  |  February 22 2013, 3:49PM

    NPT Hospital should never have been built. What a squandering of precious NHS funding. Morriston, developing as a centre of excellence, is just down the road and nearer fro many NPT residents. Why would people prefer a second rate service when they can have the best? NPT hospital was a political gimmick, just as Prince Philip in Llanelli was, and many more. What is really needed is investment in the ambulance service to get people to the best hospitals as quickly as possible, together with enhancements at A&E to ensure that they can cope.

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