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Morgan: Supporting the Children's Hospital of Wales

Speech to the National Assembly for Wales.

"I welcome the statement this afternoon, not just as the shadow health Minister, but as the Assembly Member for Cardiff North, which is the constituency where the children's hospital is based.

For those who have not been to the hospital—I do not know whether the Minister has had the opportunity to visit yet—I would certainly recommend it. It is a truly wonderful unit and an extremely welcoming place to visit; you can see how it is so geared towards the care and treatment of the children and young people who have to make use of the facility.

It is not until you see the paediatric oncology unit that you realise why this hospital was so important in the first place.

Minister, although you did not do it, I start by congratulating the Noah's Ark Appeal. It has been an amazing journey for the appeal and I pay tribute to the dedication and spirit of those involved in raising such fantastic sums of money for a project that, quite frankly, should have been funded by the Government from the start.

I note the rather self-congratulatory note about the fact that the development was only able to go ahead because of the £4.9 million of public funding provided, but I do not think that we can dwell on that with any great sense of achievement without realising that that money was more or less matched by the Noah's Ark Appeal. The spirit and dedication of those involved in the Noah's Ark Appeal is something that we should be celebrating here today.

You have said that the cost of phase 2 has been estimated at £40 million. That estimate of somewhere in the region of £38 million to £40 million was reached in 2005 by your predecessor's officials.

Bearing in mind that new building projects have a habit of increasing in cost before they have even started, can you give me an assurance as to how robust that figure is?

I suspect that the projected cost would now be higher than £40 million. Do you have any updated figures? If so, and if the cost exceeds £40 million, will the Assembly Government cover the increase?

I accept, and welcome, the fact that the Government is putting in that level of resource for the capital expenditure of phase 2, but that £40 million might not be sufficient and it may be a few million pounds short. I would appreciate some clarification on those figures.

You have rightly said that there has been discussion by commissioners as to how to cover the revenue costs of the project once it is completed. This has been a sticking point. I congratulate you for looking to underwrite the £1.2 million gap because this project needs to move forward.

We cannot wait any longer, and the children of Wales cannot wait any longer, while the plethora of commissioning bodies conclude their discussions as to who is responsible for which bit.

However, on the £1.2 million, why does this gap exist? What bit of the discussions has not been concluded? What is the sticking point between the commissioning bodies that means that there is a gap of £1.2 million? What work is being done by your officials to help the commissioning bodies to meet that obligation and, as you said, to ensure that they are not let off the hook?

There remains a problem, which will have to be resolved. While I applaud the robust way in which you approach this, this needs to be sorted out sooner rather than later, otherwise that money will be drawn down, even if that is not your expectation.

This project has a great future, providing that the commissioning bodies realise what their obligations are. It will show that we have the ability to provide services as closely as possible to home for children and young people in Wales, because we know that this hospital is providing, and will provide, a huge range of services, and, in many cases, complicated and difficult services. I applaud the children's hospital, and the Assembly and the people of Wales should celebrate it."

"Croesawaf y datganiad y prynhawn yma, nid dim ond fel Gweinidog yr Wrthblaid dros Iechyd, ond fel yr Aelod Cynulliad dros Ogledd Caerdydd, sef yr etholaeth lle mae'r ysbyty plant. I'r rheini sydd heb ymweld â'r ysbyty—ni wn a yw'r Gweinidog wedi cael y cyfle i ymweld â'r lle eto—byddwn yn sicr yn ei argymell.

Mae'n uned wirioneddol wych ac yn lle hynod o groesawgar i ymweld ag ef; gallwch weld sut mae wedi'i lunio'n benodol i roi gofal a thriniaeth i'r plant a'r bobl ifanc sy'n gorfod defnyddio'r cyfleuster. Nid tan i chi weld yr uned oncoleg bediatrig y sylweddolwch pam yr oedd yr ysbyty hwn mor bwysig yn y lle cyntaf.

Weinidog, er na wnaethoch chi hynny, dechreuaf drwy longyfarch Apêl Arch Noa. Mae'r apêl honno wedi bod ar daith ryfeddol a rhoddaf deyrnged i ymroddiad ac ysbryd y rheini a fu'n ymwneud â chodi symiau mor anhygoel ar gyfer prosiect y dylai'r Llywodraeth, a bod yn ddi-flewyn-ar-dafod, fod wedi'i ariannu o'r cychwyn.

Sylwaf eich bod yn eich canmol eich hunain braidd na fyddai'r datblygiad wedi gallu mynd rhagddo oni bai am y £4.9 miliwn a ddarparwyd o'r pwrs cyhoeddus. Ond, ni chredaf y gallwn roi gormod o bwyslais ar hynny gydag unrhyw ymdeimlad o lwyddiant mawr heb sylweddoli bod Apêl Arch Noa wedi cyfrannu fwy neu lai'r un faint. Mae ysbryd ac ymroddiad y rheini sy'n rhan o Apêl Arch Noa'n rhywbeth y dylem fod yn ei ddathlu yma heddiw.

Yr ydych wedi dweud mai cost cam 2, yn ôl yr amcangyfrif, fydd £40 miliwn. Yr amcangyfrif hwnnw, sef oddeutu £38 i £40 miliwn, oedd yr amcangyfrif a gafwyd yn 2005 gan swyddogion eich rhagflaenydd. A chofio bod tuedd i brosiectau adeiladu newydd gynyddu yn eu cost cyn iddynt ddechrau hyd yn oed, a allwch roi sicrwydd imi ynghylch cadernid y ffigur hwnnw? Yr wyf yn amau y byddai'r rhagamcan erbyn hyn yn uwch na £40 miliwn. A oes gennych unrhyw ffigurau wedi'u diweddaru?

Os felly, ac os yw'r gost yn fwy na £40 miliwn, a wnaiff Llywodraeth y Cynulliad dalu am y cynnydd? Derbyniaf, a chroesawaf y ffaith bod y Llywodraeth yn darparu cymaint o adnoddau ar gyfer gwariant cyfalaf cam 2, ond efallai na fydd y £40 miliwn hwnnw'n ddigon ac efallai y bydd ychydig o filiynau o bunnoedd yn brin. Byddwn yn gwerthfawrogi ychydig o eglurhad ynghylch y ffigurau hynny.

Yr ydych wedi dweud, a hynny'n iawn, bod y comisiynwyr wedi bod yn trafod sut mae talu costau refeniw'r prosiect ar ôl ei gwblhau. Mae hyn wedi bod yn faen tramgwydd. Hoffwn eich llongyfarch am danysgrifio'r bwlch £1.2 miliwn gan fod angen i'r prosiect hwn fynd yn ei flaen. Ni allwn aros yn hwy, ac ni all plant Cymru aros yn hwy, tra bydd y llu o gyrff comisiynu'n cwblhau eu trafodaethau ynghylch pwy sy'n gyfrifol am ba ran.

Fodd bynnag, ynghylch yr £1.2 miliwn, pam y mae'r bwlch hwn yn bod? Pa ran o'r trafodaethau sydd heb ei chwblhau? Beth yw'r maen tramgwydd rhwng y cyrff comisiynu sy'n peri bod bwlch o £1.2 miliwn? Pa waith y mae'ch swyddogion yn ei wneud i helpu'r cyrff comisiynu i gyflawni'r ymrwymiad hwnnw ac, fel y dywedasoch, sicrhau nad ydynt yn cael osgoi eu cyfrifoldeb?

Mae problem yn aros, y bydd yn rhaid ei datrys. Er fy mod yn cymeradwyo'r modd cadarn yr ydych wedi delio â hyn, mae angen datrys hyn cyn gynted ag y bo modd neu, fel arall, tynnir i lawr yr arian hwnnw, er gwaethaf y ffaith nad ydych yn disgwyl hynny.

Bydd dyfodol gwych i'r prosiect hwn, ar yr amod y bydd y cyrff comisiynu'n sylweddoli beth yw eu rhwymedigaethau. Bydd yn dangos ein bod yn gallu darparu gwasanaethau mor agos ag sy'n bosibl i'r cartref i blant a phobl ifanc yng Nghymru, gan y gwyddom fod yr ysbyty hwn yn darparu, ac y bydd yn darparu, ystod eang iawn o wasanaethau, ac, mewn llawer achos, gwasanaethau cymhleth ac anodd eu darparu. Cymeradwyaf yr ysbyty plant, a dylai'r Cynulliad a phobl Cymru ei ganmol."

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