Health bosses reject MP's hospital claims
HEALTH bosses have rejected claims by an MP that Neath Port Talbot Hospital is being "run down".
Peter Hain, Labour MP for Neath, said he had been angered at what he claimed was a reduction of services at the Baglan site.
The Neath politician said he had concerns over the future of the hospital following the closure of the pre-discharge unit and what he described as a downgrading of A&E to a Local Accident Centre.
But chiefs at Abertawe Bro Morgannwg (ABM) University Health Board said its four hospitals had a "long future and key roles to play."
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A spokeswoman said: "Following an extensive process of engagement with our partners, the public and our staff, ABM University Health Board recently published the five-year framework Changing for the Better.
"This framework sets out how we will rise to the challenge of delivering high quality care and consistently meet the needs and expectations of the public over the next five years.
"This plan was presented to the Local Service Board in Neath Port Talbot (NPT) and received considerable support for its future direction.
"Also, the positive role that NPT hospital plays both in servicing the local population of NPT and its wider function supporting the health board as a whole. A key function of the hospital continues to be in support of the integrated services currently running and being further developed in the community."
The spokeswoman added that the A&E department had not been downgraded to a Local Accident Centre.
"The term LAC has been in use for a considerable number of years, even before the hospital moved to its new site, and this remains an active and well used service," she said.
"All four acute ABM hospitals have a long future and key roles to play. To provide the best quality care their roles will complement each other and also the developing community services.
"While a wide range of core services will be available across sites, hospitals will generally develop more individual roles to improve the overall package of services available to the population."
The MP has called a meeting with representatives from ABM Health Trust, Neath Port Talbot Hospital, the Community Health Council and elected representatives, on Friday, October 8 in Neath.