1. ITV Report

Plans to close hospital to acute medical admissions

The changes are said to be needed to ensure the hospital are able to provide a safe service for patients. Photo: ITV News Wales

ABM University Health Board is considering introducing changes at Neath Port Talbot Hospital in September, because of difficulties recruiting enough doctors.

The changes are said to be needed to ensure the hospital are able to provide a safe service for patients, and it is on the advice of senior doctors.

The decision by the Wales Deanery, which is responsible for post graduate training, has been made to reallocate senior doctors to larger hospitals. The Deanery say their priority is for post graduate doctors in Wales to have the finest quality training and access to higher training, which is often not available at smaller hospitals.

Despite consulting with the ABM University Board for the last eighteen months about the changes, the shortage of doctors in the UK,and particularly Wales, means that the Health Board have been unable to fill the posts that are being transferred elsewhere.

Despite an international recruitment drive the Health Board say they have not been able to fill posts and are proposing closing the hospital to acute medical admissions from September.

There are no plans to close the hospital however, and the Health Board say Neath Port Talbot will continue to play an important role in delivering clinical services.

The changes will be considered at a meeting next Thursday.