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Petition launched to save Carmarthen A&E as part of healthcare shake-up

Posted on 23/04/2018 by

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The petition has been signed by almost 200 people so far with fears lives will be at risk if it shuts

A petition has been launched and town leaders will be asked to put pressure on health bosses in a bid to save Carmarthen’s A&E department from closure.

Hywel Dda University Health Board has unveiled three options for the future provision of healthcare in Carmarthenshire , Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion .

In all three options, Carmarthen’s Glangwili Hospital would lose its A&E facility.

Under two of the options it could become a community hospital.

In the third option it would also provide planned care such as surgery and scans.

In Llanelli, Prince Philip Hospital would remain a general hospital in two of the three options and become a community hospital in the other.

In all three options, Withybush Hospital in Haverfordwest would no longer be a general hospital. It would instead become a community hospital for minor injuries.

The changes would also mean that a new hospital would be built near Whitland.

This would provide both A&E and urgent care 24 hours a day.

However, there is huge concern that losing an A&E in Carmarthen would put lives at risk.

The petition has been signed by more than 200 people so far on the website Care2 Petitions.

It follows a petition to save Llanelli’s Prince Philip Hospital from being downgraded; that petition has already had more than 2,500 signatures.

While it is unclear who has started the petition over Glangwili’s A&E, the Care2 site states: “Hywel Dda are looking to cut costs and sadly Carmarthen's A&E at Glangwilli is being looked at for closure.

“It’s disgraceful and disgusting that Carmarthen will be left without vital services.

“Every county should have at least one A&E in or near a built-up area.”

The petition adds more people “might die because vital minutes were lost in having to travel further to emergency care. All because someone will made a catastrophic error in closing Glangwilli’s A&E.”

Carmarthen mayor Alun Lenny is also set to ask town councillors on Wednesday night to agree a motion to firstly lobby the health board to look at the possibility of a fourth option - to build a new hospital on the edge of Carmarthen and not west of St Clears.

Coupled with starting a campaign to save Carmarthen’s A&E if the health board dismiss the idea for a new hospital on land west of the town, currently earmarked for new homes.

Mr Lenny said he will be asking Carmarthen Town Council if it will “lobby Hywel Dda Health Board to consider locating their proposed new hospital on a site immediately to the west of Carmarthen town; and while they consider, should we start a campaign to keep the A&E department at Glangwili open in case they dismiss the suggestion?”

Mr Lenny, who held a public meeting in Carmarthen last month ahead of the health board officially unveiling its options, said there was great concern over the health board proposals.

He added: “People in the Carmarthen area are naturally alarmed about the plans to downgrade Glangwili, but if the new hospital was located on the western edge of town, that would seem to be acceptable.

"A new hospital, just west of Carmarthen, would be equidistant from Llanelli and Haverfordwest. It would be well-served by the A40 dual carriageway, being the main road through West Wales.

"A new state-of-the-art hospital here, rather than on a green field site somewhere near Whitland, would be more attractive to clinical staff at all levels.

"It seems the logical place to locate a new hospital to serve West Wales."

Source: Wales Online