Election 2019

General election 2019: Cwm Taf maternity failings inquiry call

Adam Price (left) challenges Rebecca Long-Bailey (second from right)
Image caption Adam Price (left) challenged Rebecca Long-Bailey (second from right) on her party's track record in Wales

A senior member of the Labour party has called for a public inquiry into maternity failures at a health board.

The services at Cwm Taf Morgannwg were put into special measures following a major independent review.

Shadow Business Secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey made the call when challenged on the Labour Welsh Government's record on the NHS, by Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price, during a BBC election debate.

But the Welsh Government said there was no basis to support "an extra process".

During the debate, Mr Price said to Ms Long-Bailey: "If you criticise the Conservative party, rightly, for the unnecessary failure there, surely admit and be honest about the fact that your government here [in Wales] have also failed those mothers and fathers and people in the NHS in Wales as well."

Ms Long-Bailey replied: "I don't know about the case that's being referred to, but knowing from my legal experience, there should be a full legal investigation and a public inquiry into this incident, which sounds horrific."

In late 2018 concerns emerged over maternity services at two hospitals - Royal Glamorgan Hospital in Llantrisant, Rhondda Cynon Taff, and Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil.

Claims were made about staff not reporting serious incidents and staff shortages leading to women and babies coming to harm.

Following an independent report by two royal colleges, commissioned by the Welsh Government, an independent panel was set up to monitor improvements at the health board.

Vaughan Gething, the Welsh Government's Health Minister, tweeted that he had already intervened and "there is no basis to support an extra process in addition to the interventions I have already made".

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Seven senior figures from the major political parties took part in a debate on the BBC ahead of December general election

He added: "The independent panel are actively working with women and their families to help improve maternity services. There is lots of positive public feedback from women and their families in recent months."

A Welsh Government spokesman said: "We recognise there is more to do to provide the public and staff with the assurance they rightly expect.

" All of this is in the public domain. There is no basis to support an extra process in addition to the interventions the Minister for Health has already made."

But South Wales Central Assembly Member Andrew RT Davies tweeted: "Welsh Labour's Vaughan Gething has proven himself utterly incompetent.

"‪@RLong_Bailey‬ is right and there should be a full inquiry / investigation."

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