Campaigners will fight for U-turn on health services
A CAMPAIGN group is being formed to try to reverse the loss of acute medicine at Neath Port Talbot Hospital.
It has been launched following two public meetings organised by Unison following the urgent service change Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board introduced last month.
Patients who would previously be seen at the Baglan Moors site are now treated in Swansea or Bridgend, though many will recover in Neath Port Talbot after their initial acute care.
Unison's ABMU healthcare branch secretary Andrew O'Leary said: "It is now clear the people of Neath Port Talbot want to fight to retain the acute medical service within the local hospital.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
"Many people came to the meeting with little or no idea of what changes had already taken place and what the withdrawal of the medical intake service means for the local communities.
"This is a clear message to the health board that the public need to be engaged in formal consultation including public meetings at accessible times."
Unison regional organiser Eddie Gabrielsen said: "We sought volunteers from both meetings and now have 25 people willing to form a campaign group that Unison will support in seeking to change the health board's decision in relation to the withdrawal of the acute medical intake at Neath Port Talbot Hospital.
"Our ABMU healthcare branch will also be looking at all localities within the health board and what future changes mean for the people of Swansea, Bridgend and valley areas."
An ABMU spokeswoman said: "The health board has made it abundantly clear over the last number of months that there are no plans to close Neath Port Talbot Hospital as it has a very important role in the future of our health services.
"The health board, together with representatives from the trade unions, local authority, voluntary sector, community health council and patient groups, staff from across the health board, including doctors and nurses, have been reviewing services and developing proposals."
Hamish Laing, ABMU's director of clinical strategy said:"We already have confirmed dates and venues for open meetings with our staff and also 11 drop-in information events for the public throughout the ABMU area but other staff and public events are still be being planned to make sure that as many people as possible can come and talk with us about our ideas. These will be publicised widely on our website and in local papers as soon as they are confirmed.