Aberavon AM, David Rees, has expressed his disappointment at the Health board’s decision today to approve the recommendation of stopping acute medical services as from the 1st September. However, he has acknowledged the difficulties they have faced when trying to recruit doctors to fill the vacant CT2 posts. David Rees AM has met with the Chief Executive of ABMU, senior officers of the board and the Minister for Health and Social Services, Lesley Griffiths, to highlight the concerns of local people and seek assurances for the hospital’s future.

In a statement, David Rees AM said:
“I have met with the Chief Executive of ABMU and senior officers of the board to express my deep concern over the proposals and seek assurances for the hospital once again. I have also asked what measures have been put in place to ensure that the other sites can handle the extra workload that will follow as a result of this decision. I was surprised to learn that these plans are still being developed and that the decision has been taken without these being fully developed.

I also had an urgent meeting with the Minister for Health and Social Services, raising similar concerns and enquiring into the role of the deanery in this decision. The Minister informed me that every effort had been made to maintain provision but, on this occasion, they could not recruit suitable qualified doctors to fill all vacancies. I have been reassured by the Minister that primary focus is, and always has been, on providing safe services for all residences and that she had been informed that the hospital will play a major role in service delivery in ABMU.I have invited the Minister to see for herself the excellent facilities that are available at our wonderful hospital.

Today’s decision by the board is a sad day, but reflects the huge difficulty faced across the UK to recruit doctors to fill vacant posts at various levels. Tomorrow I will be meeting once again with the Chief Executive, along with my MP Dr Hywel Francis, to see the progress being made in plans to deal with all patients, both in the hospital and those who will now be going elsewhere, in the months ahead. Our focus must be on ensuring that the people of Neath Port Talbot receive safe and high quality health care during this difficult time. We must find realistic solutions to protect and safeguard our NHS.”
David Rees will be continuing to meet with Health Board officials over the months ahead to ensure that appropriate and safe plans are in place to provide the people of Neath Port Talbot with a National Health Service that meets their needs.”