Campaign for A&E at Ystrad Fawr builds

Mass meeting says "Come and join us on February 16 and march to defend hospital services"

24 hour A&E needed

There was a great feeling of anger and willingness to fight as over 60 people attended a hospital campaign meeting in Ystrad Mynach on the 15th of this month. The campaign is for a 24-Hour Doctor Led A&E in the new Ystrad Mynach hospital and is against the ‘South Wales Plan’. We have decided to hold a demonstration on February 16 through Caerphilly, the largest town the hospital serves.

The anger comes from the “state of the art” hospital not having the services that local people were promised when it was being built and replacing the Miners Hospital in Caerphilly, a hospital that was built out of mine worker’s pay and which had a functioning A&E (which itself had been cut back to a 9-5 service).

We are looking to link up with as many other NHS campaigns as possible and welcome all to the demonstration because we have to be united to defend our NHS.

The campaign made clear that this isn't an attack on the doctors and nurses working at the hospital but it's an attack on the way the NHS is being run by the bosses and managers.

'The Miners' was under threat of closure for many years while it was being run down but each time the closure had been stopped by a strong campaign. Mariam Kamish from the current campaign committee noted that "The only reason they got away with shutting the miners this time was because they promised us a 24 hour A&E led by doctors in Ystrad Mynach."

The 'state of the art' hospital only has a minor injuries unit meaning that people in the area needing an accident and emergency department can’t be treated there. People from Caerphilly, Blackwood, Ystrad Mynach, Rhymney, Newbridge and other surrounding towns and villages have to travel up to an hour further to the Royal Gwent hospital in Newport or Heath hospital in Cardiff, both of which will have enough strain on them due to dealing with their own local patients.

There have been many incidents where people have been turned away from the hospital. One man told me how he took his child to the hospital because the child couldn’t breathe properly. He was then told that nobody in the building could see the child as nobody was qualified to administer treatment and this meant a further half an hour to 45 minute journey to the already over-busy Royal Gwent. This is just one of many terrible experiences I have heard from the public concerning the hospital.

The campaign focuses on the 'South Wales Programme' which is a plan that would see the whole of South Wales with a population of two million being served by only four or five A&Es along the M4 corridor between Llanelli and Chepstow.

At the meeting, Lloyd James from the campaigns committee highlighted how important it is to link up with other hospital campaigns and fight united for our NHS, as he pointed out “If we don’t fight united, they will divide us and they will win.” it was agreed that the campaign secretary Lisa Jones should speak at the coming Cardiff Against the Cuts meeting on the 29th to establish links with hospital campaigns in Cardiff.

Marchers will be gathering at 11.30am outside the site of the old Miners Hospital on Saturday 16 February to bring together the mass campaign of local people. We welcome all to the march and appeal to other hospital campaigns in particular to come and join us.

Jaime Davies, (A and E Needed at Ystrad Mynach Hospital campaign)

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