Rhondda AM has hosted a public meeting in Treorci to discuss the next steps in the campaign to retain 24 hour consultant services at the main district general hospital serving the Rhondda.
The meeting, held at Treorci RFC and chaired by local Plaid Cymru councillor Emyr Webster, was attended by more than 100 people angry with plans to downgrade the A&E department at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in Llantrisant.
Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board, acting upon the centralisation agenda of the Labour Government in Wales, want to reduce consultant cover.
They say a shortage of consultants has forced their hand but Leanne has exposed in questions to Labour Ministers a lack of effort in trying to recruit consultants and the fact that other health boards – not threatened with losing consultant services within an A&E department – have been able to attracted the necessary expertise.
A number of suggestions were made at the public meeting which included linking up with other communities outside the Rhondda that could be adversely affected by the plans and a high-profile march in the Rhondda.
Rhondda AM Leanne Wood said: “The public meeting in Treorci RFC was really well attended and produced some great suggestions for the campaign to retain a 24 hour consultant-led services at the A&E department at the Royal Glamorgan.
“As with the other meetings my team has organised in Porth and Ferndale, there was a lot of passion and determination in the room to ensure that the centralisation agenda of the Labour Government is not allowed to affect our A&E department. We want safe services and that means a 24 hour service staffed by full-time consultants. At the meeting we agreed that anything less was unacceptable.
“We also called on the health board to make a concerted attempt to get full-time A&E consultants on the books.”
Leanne added: “It was also suggested that we link up better with communities in the Bridgend, Merthyr and Cardiff areas. The implications of reducing A&E provision at the Royal Glamorgan will not just affect people in the surrounding area – it will also impact upon the people of Bridgend, Merthyr and Cardiff as their A&E departments will be forced to take thousands of more patients every month.
“We also vowed to organise a protest march through the Rhondda and hopefully meet up with a march from the Pontypridd area. That idea requires a bit more work but the resolve to do something positive to counter the centralisation plans was very strong.”
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