Hospitals' ward move go-ahead is agreed
HEALTH bosses have nodded through plans to switch a ward from Cimla to Neath Port Talbot Hospital.
The scheme was rubber- stamped by chiefs at an Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board meeting at its Baglan Energy Park headquarters.
Paul Stauber, director of planning at the organisation, said the public and staff had been fully consulted on the scheme, along with the region's patient watchdog — the community health council.
During the board meeting, Mr Stauber said they had worked to allay staff fears over the move and pledged there would be no job losses.
He said: "We had a focused engagement with the community health council around the remaining ward in Cimla.
"This move has been discussed for some time, letters were sent out to groups of individuals.
"Clearly staff were anxious about their future, they were assured there was no issue with their employment.
"The staff were anxious they would be kept together as a team, we were happy to be able to confirm that."
He added: "The number of beds will not be reduced.
"The concerns from the physiotherapists and speech and language therapists were would they be able access accommodation close to the ward – and we were happy to confirm that.
"The League of Friends were concerned about the gifts given over the years — they will be transferred."
People were given the chance to have their say on the proposal during an engagement exercise held between July 24 and August 7.
Mr Stauber revealed South Wales West AM Bethan Jenkins had been in touch as she was anxious people should have the opportunity to speak on the proposal.
"There's been no issues brought and no issues come about," he added.
"A local councillor rang on behalf of Gwenda Thomas AM who was interested in the long-term future of Cimla."
Mr Stauber reiterated that no issues had been raised on the scheme and asked the board to approve the project, which will see Cimla Hospital retained as a community resource facility.
Trade union representative Sandra Miller said the move had been well received but there were concerns over transport issues.
She said: "Whilst the staff obviously showed concerns about going together, for some staff they have transport issues.
"We do only have small numbers moving but we do have some issues."
Andrew Davies, chairman of ABMU Health Board, added: "Transport has come up as a major problem with the South Wales Programme, as a board we will need to consider transport."