WITH Hywel Dda Health Board meeting at the end of the month to consider the future of West Wales’s hospital services, Lee Waters AM and I are continuing the fight to keep a proper general hospital here in Llanelli.
We have written a joint letter to the chief executive of Hywel Dda, hammering home the point that the results of their own consultation show that people in Carmarthenshire, as well as NHS staff from right across the health board, vigorously oppose a downgrade of Prince Philip Hospital.
Over 5,000 people took the trouble to complete their consultation questionnaire, so the health board must now listen to them and rule out this appalling option. Llanelli has the largest population of any town in the Hywel Dda area, and downgrading Prince Philip Hospital should never have been proposed in the first place. The reality is that we need to see more services delivered here, not fewer.
The consultation results are also clear about the impact that relocating services from Prince Philip to a proposed new hospital near Whitland would have on neighbouring areas.
The result would be more and more people from Llanelli travelling to Morriston Hospital to get the treatment they need, vastly increasing pressure on Swansea’s health board (ABMU). This was something I and many others raised during the consultation process, and Hywel Dda needs to recognise this. I recently spoke to the chief executive of ABMU to raise these concerns and make the case for the best possible collaboration between our two health boards.
So the evidence is clear: people want to keep a proper general hospital in Llanelli. Lee and I will continue to fight for this and keep up pressure on the health board to make the right decision.