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Campaigners' worst fears realised as Llanelli's A&E to shut

By Llanelli Star  |  Posted: January 16, 2013

Prince Philip Hospital in Llanelli

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LLANELLI'S hospital will no longer have an A&E unit after Hywel Dda Health Board passed its final recommendations for change yesterday.

Members of the board met at St David's Hospital in Carmarthen for an extraordinary meeting to discuss its five proposals to shake up health services across the region.

And despite a 24,000-strong petition opposing the plans and a campaign with the support of clinicians at the hospital and GPs in the area, the board agreed unanimously to press on with plans to replace current services with a nurse-delivered unit.

Campaigners reacted furiously when a report appeared detailing the recommendations of Opinion Research Services, which was tasked with monitoring the consultation, made no mention of the petition.

But board members insisted they had taken all views into account, presenting a new proposal to allow a "clinically-led group to redesign an unscheduled care service for Prince Philip Hospital and the Llanelli community".

Retired consultant surgeon Hugh Evans said: "This is what I expected. They have been directed by Lesley Griffiths to make savings. A nurse-led service is not acceptable and will be positively dangerous.

"I was very disappointed to hear Dr Meurig Williams's view that this will be a great opportunity for us. It is nothing but downgrading."

Chairman of the Committee for the Improvement of Hospital Services (CIHS) Bryan Hitchman said he had little faith in the board.

He said: "It beggars belief; 24,000 people have in effect been ignored by ORS — 24,000 people have been disenfranchised."

Dr Phil Kloer, director of clinical services at the health board, said: "We have listened very carefully to what the public have said and our staff. We are maintaining the acute medical unit there. We will continue to look after acute medical conditions."

He admitted that even following the exercise, the service would be delivered "primarily by nurses".

Hywel Dda chairman Chris Martin said the board envisaged the changes would be in place within two years.

And he said the decision whether to have further public consultation would be discussed with the community health council.

Medical director of the board Dr Sue Fish said: "The way the service at Prince Philip is provided at the moment is not as safe as it could be.

"This change will be led by the staff who care for Llanelli residents and no change will be made until this clinically-led group judges that it is safe to do so."

Star comment on page 10, and more news on the hospital on pages 34 & 35.

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  • marcuswrose  |  January 20 2013, 11:34PM

    I watched Owen but lost the first part did it start at 10.35 as you wrote?

  • owen71  |  January 20 2013, 10:46PM

    Well if you watched the program we are bust .........................

  • marcuswrose  |  January 20 2013, 10:34PM

    At last Owen we agree on something and that is a strength. But I have only come to my view from the totally undemocratic way they have dealt with the NHS. You need an A&E in Carmarthen but we also need one in East Carmarthenshire The area of Hywel Dda is huge and has been neglected for many years. Stripping an Urban of Hospital services is not the answer to the problem. We have fought since 2003 changed AMs over it and we will continue. Carmarthenshire is a County to be proud of but we are being ripped apart by stupid Government decisions.

  • owen71  |  January 20 2013, 10:09PM

    marcuswrose...because your funding comes from where the industry and people are,..... i have never heard such a load of rubbish in my life ,, but i will agree with you do away with the Senydd , its a waste of money , you should stand for M P in the next election for Llanelli, and if you are going to do away with the Senydd i will give you my vote , ,

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  • marcuswrose  |  January 20 2013, 9:16PM

    Owen we are not talking about money, huge sums of money still being spent in Wales on centralisation. The question being asked is where and how it is being spent. Carmarthen is the only town in the Hywel Dda area 120 miles by 90 that is satisfied. Look at South Wales 90 x 90 miles, There are more than enough hospitals and A&E departments and at present hardly any protest. If we can afford an ongoing annual cost of £13 million plus in Hywel Dda management that is still growing. Money to buy airports that money grabbing private investors are having a job to make a go of. Money to do the Senydd up we can afford better than third world NHS. It is better to get rid of the costly Welsh Assembly than have rubbish foisted on us. We live in Carmarthenshire as well as you, lets not fight over it. There is need for 4 A&E departments in the Hywel Dda area. If not Llanelli area and Ammanford will have to be served from Swansea and then you will lose as well as us because your funding comes from where the industry and people are.

  • owen71  |  January 20 2013, 7:42PM

    marcuswrose ... Watch BBC WALES tonight 10:35 about the health problem in Carmarthenshire which Llanelli is part , then you will understand the proplem they have about money ... good luck

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  • owen71  |  January 20 2013, 5:09PM

    marcuswrose yes you said PAY for how many do pay , i think you live in a fairland world things have moved on so i would say private care is better for you , i will ask the PRIVATE HOSPITAL in CARMARTHEN to move to your street in Llanelli , sorry to her your friend died , i dont think its the fault of GLANGWILI who knows , , the sooner you understand the country is short of money , and its not us and them we are all in it together in Carmarthenshire and when you go to GLANGWILI you will have to wait your turn , like the rest of us the very ill go in first , or you could move house to ABERGWILI which you can walk to the hospital , it would very nice if we all could have a hospital at the end of our street, , so i have no more to say on the matter, so i do hope that they will get on with it straight away ........

  • marcuswrose  |  January 20 2013, 3:35PM

    Owen do you think that it would be a good idea to close A&E in Cardiff and put all their services in Bridgend 22 miles from Cardiff? It makes much more sense to put services where the people are. Llanelli on it's own is the 7th largest area of population in Wales. (Fact). Carmarthen is the 40th (Fact. If they decided to put all the emergency services in Powys the largest county in Wales and the lowest population I suppose you would back that. Everywhere else in Wales from Loughor to Newport very few cannot get to emergency services in under 12 miles. You can forget Morriston My friend died living only 8 miles from Morriston but was taken to Glangwili it took a total of 2hours 10 minutes for him to be treated because centralisation wastes too much time. Llanelli has lost more services in the last five years than any other town in Wales and Carmarthen has gained more. We will never give in we will get the services we deserve and pay for.

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  • owen71  |  January 20 2013, 1:54PM

    No no i dont live in Carmarthen , and the health service is for every one , and as i said in these troubled times they have to do the best they can , as i said before you want a hospital at the end of your street , not in these times sorry . Take out private insurance if you feel that way , every one has to travel in CARMARTHENSHIRE for some sort of treatment be it from Carmarthen to Llanelli or the other way and all the other area's in Carmarthenshire would have to travel to Llanelli for some treament or clinic , so its swings and roundabouts , and lets get on with it and save money and stop all these meetings etc

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  • marcuswrose  |  January 20 2013, 1:37PM

    Owen, If I remember correctly you live in Carmarthen. You don't offer facts just your opinion. If a fully functioning A&E with back up services cannot be afforded in Llanelli then it certainly cannot in Carmarthen. Both area's need A&E. Llanelli and Ammanford more so because of population. I know paramedics in the Swansea area and have friends in Carmarthen who tell me that the situation is both unfair and unsafe for Llanelli. The only reason that Glangwili benefits so much is because the hospital was a military hospital during the last world war and the management for the county is based in Carmarthen, nothing to do with public need. Cardiff hospitals are not managed from Bridgend. the situation in Carmarthenshire is unique in Wales where the tail wags the dog. The money for the the service comes from the main population and the many large industries in Llanelli and districts.