A report outlining the need for change in the heath service in Wales simply repeats the same case as ten years ago, according to the Save Withybush Action Team (SWAT).

The Best Configuration of Hospital Services for Wales report made headlines last week by claiming that some NHS services were at risk of collapse.

But SWAT chairman Dr Chris Overton said that the report contains ‘rhetoric’ that has not changed over the last 10 years.

The report examined clinical evidence on hospital services in Wales and concludes that patients in Wales are not getting the best possible outcomes from their hospital care and there is a strong case for changing the way some hospital services are organised.

The report, by Professor Marcus Longley at the Welsh Institute for Health and Social Care (WIHSC) at the University of Glamorgan, was commissioned by the NHS in Wales.

Dr Overton said: “It doesn’t say anything new, it’s a revamp of a review in 2002 – it doesn’t say how to change, just that they have to change for the various reasons outlined without any clinical answers. They need to make sensible decisions not political decisions.”

He added that SWAT’s view was that Withybush Hospital would be an ideal main secondary centre to support a larger main centre for west Wales at Morriston.

The review found that unless action is taken quickly, the shortage of medical staff in some services is likely to lead to closure and possible collapse of these services.

It adds that increasing specialisation means centralising expert clinical staff leads to better patient outcomes.

Tony Chambers, director of planning, performance and delivery at Hywel Dda Health Board, said: “Hywel Dda Health Board will give full consideration to this body of evidence within our local context and continue to seek the views of our consultants in the wake of one of Wales’ most extensive public engagement exercises.

“All of these processes together will help to establish the best and safest options for our health and clinical services as part of the formal consultation process within our health board later this year.”