Llanelli’s Welsh Assembly member and the constituency’s Member of Parliament have put out a joint statement following yesterday’s special ‘NHS Change’ meeting held by the Hywel Dda University Health Board in Carmarthen.
It reads –
Lee Waters AM and Nia Griffith MP welcome retention of services at Prince Philip General Hospital.
Llanelli’s AM and MP have welcomed Hywel Dda Health Board’s proposal to keep Prince Philip as a General Hospital with acute services, such as Minor Injuries, remaining in Llanelli.
The announcement comes after vigorous opposition by local campaign group SOSSPAN, supported by the MP and AM, to prevent a downgrade to a community hospital.
Lee Waters AM said: “I’m glad that the Health Board listened to the strong representations that Nia and I made to them. Turning Prince Phillip into a Community Hospital was not on.”
Nia Griffith MP said: “We welcome the announcement today by the Hywel Dda Health Board to keep Prince Philip Hospital as a General Hospital and to keep acute medicine here in Llanelli, and I welcome close cooperation with ABMU, the Swansea Health Board.”
But both warned that the move of some of the planned operations out of Prince Phillip and all from Glangwili hospital into a new purpose built super-hospital near Whitland will need to be carefully managed.
Nia Griffith said: “The new hospital will be an hour away by car for most people in the Llanelli constituency, and many will be closer to hospitals in Swansea and along the M4. It’s essential that there are no bureaucratic boundaries between the health boards which get in the way of people being treated as close to home as possible”.
Lee Waters added: “About 25% of households don’t have a car and we need to make sure they can easily access the healthcare they need. And we need to make sure we can the most of digital communication so that people can have face-to-face contact without always needing to travel.”
The MP and AM will tell Health Secretary Vaughan Gething that Prince Philip needs to receive continued investment to secure a long term future.
Nia Griffith MP added: “We will be keeping close watch on the further development of the Board’s thinking on emergency, urgent and planned care.”
Lee Waters also said he was very concerned about the announcement that mental health services for the most serious cases will be provided outside of the area.
He added: “I’m worried that the new Mental Health treatment unit that was being planned for Llanelli will now be placed at the proposed new hospital near Whitland, alongside the planned new assessment unit. Llanelli is still on course to have a Community mental health centre, but that will not deal with more serious cases. Nia and I will be meeting with the Health Board to discuss this.”
See earlier post –