Why we are marching for a doctor-led A&E at Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr hospital

Campaigners call for a referendum to let the people decide on NHS facilities in Caerphilly borough

Marching to save the NHS in Wales

"We are calling on the the local council to hold a referendum on a 24-hour doctor-led A&E for the new Ystrad Fawr hospital", explains Campaign Secretary, Lisa Jones.

"My own experiences have made me realise just how important the NHS is to all our lives. I’m not just fighting for myself and my own family. Like everyone in the campaign, I’m fighting to defend the NHS.

"When Caerphilly Miners was open, we had an excellent district hospital. Time and again, the Health Board tried to close it, but people marched to stop them. To change our minds, the Health Board changed tack and ran services down over a period of 12 years. Then, they spent two years publicising plans to give us a brand new state-of-the-art hospital with everything we’d had before and more. People still weren’t happy, but they went along with it, because they believed what we were told: that we’d be getting back services we’d lost.

"When the new hospital opened in November 2011, we found they’d spent £172 million on a bright and shiny white elephant – a cottage hospital with no A&E to be used mainly for scheduled clinic appointments and long stay geriatric care. Not a district hospital at all.

"We’ve lost a whole layer of the NHS from Caerphilly and we’re not prepared to put up with it. We have a Minor Injuries Unit, instead of an A&E – with no doctors. People are better off going to their GP during office hours.

"We don’t even have a resuscitation unit. Lives will be lost if we don’t get these services back.

"What people need to understand is that this is all about money – NHS cuts branded as a 'reorganisation'. The South Wales Programme for the NHS would leave us with only 4-5 A&Es from Llanelli to Chepstow.

"There was an ‘Enagement Period’ before Christmas. It included no public meetings – despite all our requests – just poorly advertised drop in sessions at awkward times.

"The public consultation process was meant to start straight after Christmas, but because of the outcry, it’s been put back to some indefinite time in the Spring.

"Now is our chance to make our voices heard. We’re linking up to other areas to oppose the South Wales Programme. Come march with us on Saturday, 16 February. Come join the fight to defend the NHS.”

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