Support Option 5!

Defend hospital services and re-instate closed A&Es

Marching against the South wales Programme

Support is growing for "Option 5", the no-cuts option which has arisen from the campaigns for an A&E at Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr and to defend services at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital. Here we reprint an appeal that is going out from the A&E Needed at Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr campaign

The Local Health Boards are presenting us with four 'options', all of which involve the downgrading of at least one hospital.

Each option would mean the loss of services – and none of them would give us our A&E back at Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr.

We are campaigning for a new option: Option 5: For services to be retained at existing hospitals with investment by the Welsh government in attracting and training enough doctors to sustain them and for a doctor-led 24-hour A&E service to be put in place at Ystrad Fawr, Llwynypia, Ebbw Vale, Mountain Ash, Barry, Baglan and Llanelli hospitals.

Campaigners for a 24-hour doctor-led A&E service for Ystrad Fawr Hospital have come together with campaigners from other areas this week to call for support for an Option 5 in the current Consultation Period being carried out by NHS Wales.

This would mean the Welsh government would have to reverse its cuts in NHS spending and plough back the £660 million it has already cut from the NHS.

Doctors could be attracted to work in Welsh hospitals if there was an imaginative recruitment campaign including for example all day crèches and child-minding for doctors who have young families.

We need to make A&Es in Wales more attractive places to work. At the moment our A&Es are stressful places to work, because they’re understaffed. Consultants are expected to be on call one night in three, instead of one night in six as in England.

The answer is not to spread the consultants we have over fewer A&Es. We need to bring a big investment in A&E to bring in more consultants and that calls for imaginative thinking.

Why not a training agreement for doctors? Free education and training with a bursary for living costs for the entire training period in exchange for a promise to work for at least 5 years in A&E, neo-natal, maternity or paediatrics.

The current crisis in the NHS can be solved with political will - and it has to be. As Aneurin Bevan said, 'We will have an NHS in this country as long as people are prepared to fight for it.'

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