‘A&E downgrade means Labour have lost my vote’
A STAUNCH Labour supporter claims he will no longer vote for the party following the closure of A&E services in Llanelli.
Tony Flatley, 61, is furious at Health Minister Mark Drakeford's decision to replace emergency services at Llanelli's Prince Philip Hospital (PPH) with a nurse-run/ GP-supported unit.
Sosspan campaigner Mr Flatley said: "As a Labour voter for 43 years, I'm disgusted and ashamed at this Labour-led Assembly, and I will never ever vote Labour in the Assembly elections again.
"I totally think that Carwyn Jones and his ministers have sold Llanelli down the river — they have treated Llanelli as expendable collateral damage.
"Llanelli will not accept a nurse-led service in any shape or form.
"They are prepared to lose the Labour vote here, the anger is that great." Labour AM for Llanelli Keith Davies stands strong combating critics who have called the changes a "downgrade".
Referring to the possibility of a solely nurse-led service, Mr Davies said: "I fought against the local health board's proposed model, which would have put the future of emergency services under continued threat.
"The recommendations of the panel means that we will continue to have a service that matches as closely as it can the service we have now — with the addition of an emergency admissions unit that will allow fast access to specialist medical teams without going through the A&E system."
Mr Flatley, who praised staff at PPH for saving his life after heart failure, said: "If it means crawling to do it I will get there. I don't want to sound big-headed, but I know I have got the backing of Llanelli.
"They have got a storm coming up — if we called a public meeting now, there's nowhere in Llanelli to hold all the people that would come."
Labour MP for Llanelli Nia Griffith said: "I am calling on the Hywel Dda Health Board to be open and transparent about any plans for staffing changes.
"We know that hard-working GPs already help provide services at Prince Philip but I will be asking for a lot more information about these plans."