Princess of Wales Hospital

Gazette column – 11th October

Carwyn Jones AM outside the Princess of Wales hospital
Carwyn Jones AM outside the Princess of Wales hospital

The challenge facing us as a society is to provide high-quality, safe and accessible health services with a full complement of highly-trained staff, able to manage the demands of an increasing population and corresponding increased pressures on the NHS.

We must act now in order to avoid a future crisis.  A double whammy of benefit cuts and a tight budget for Wales from London together with increasing demand for health services means that  how healthcare is provided is being reviewed carefully and changes will be needed in order to provide the best possible service to people in Bridgend and across Wales.

It is the role of politicians to aid people with understanding and participating in consultation processes such as these, where people are passionate about protecting their local services and ensuring future safety of patients and staff.

Unfounded rumours and misinformed speculation only serves to spread fear.  We even hear people talking in terms of ‘saving the Princess of Wales Hospital’, as if the hospital itself were under threat. It is not. It is crucial that a truthful and realistic public debate can be had on this issue.

Open day, pop-in sessions, run by the health board, to talk to you about your views on the broad proposals which are supported by doctors, are being carried out across the area throughout the consultation period over the next couple of months.

Dates, times and venues for these important sessions are available on my website, and the ABMU website. The sessions will be added as events to our Princess of Wales Direct Facebook Page, set up by Janice Gregory AM and I, to ensure that everyone can play a meaningful, active role in this crucial debate.

I will be keeping people up to date with the facts, and will seek further information and clarification over the next few months which I will share publicly.

I have been pleased to receive correspondence from constituents, highlighting both praise for the care and dedication of the staff and naturally concerns for services delivered at the Princess of Wales hospital in the future.   Your views will be represented and I will be asking the questions that have been raised and keeping people informed as the consultation continues.