Determined residents vow to fight hospital plan 'until end'
LLANELLI residents have vowed to fight proposals to shake-up hospital services until the end.
And Hywel Dda Health Board members were warned they would "have blood on their hands" if they pushed through the proposal to replace Prince Philip Hospital's A&E department with a nurse-led local accident centre for minor injuries and illnesses and a medical admissions unit.
But chief executive Trevor Purt described the changes as "absolutely minimal".
More than 300 people packed into a public meeting for a heated debate over the future of hospital services on Tuesday night.
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Residents poured into Parc y Scarlets, where they grilled members of Hywel Dda Health Board for three hours, with many calling for the reinstatement of full emergency services at the hospital, which have been removed over seven years.
Marcus Rose said: "We will fight this until the end. I think it is absurd that you're centralising everything 24 miles away.
"My personal grudge is that I'm 73 years old, and all my life I've been able to go to a hospital which could do anything apart from the very serious.
"Now what you have done is taken my A&E to Carmarthen, which is 24 miles from my home."
Another resident said: "If you close A&E there will be lives lost and there will be blood on your hands."
But the board said Llanelli residents are in a "unique" situation being placed between two hospitals.
Mr Purt said: "Neither Withybush nor Bronglais have other hospitals in their vicinity. Llanelli is served by two other hospitals — Morriston and Glangwili."
He added services that currently exist at the hospital will be the same services that will exist after the changes.
He said: "What we have currently is not an A&E. The name over the door is misleading.
"The services we currently provide will continue, and in some respects will be enhanced in the direct access for medical emergencies.
"The issue around people dying in ambulances is misleading because there will be no change to the way services are accessed."