'A&E downgrade will only add on more pressure'
A DECISION by Wales Health Minister Mark Drakeford and a panel of experts to downgrade Prince Philip Hospital A&E will put increased pressure on Carmarthen's Glangwili Hospital, it has been claimed.
That was the concern of town and county councillors after a full meeting of Carmarthenshire Council rejected Plaid party calls for a vote of no confidence Mr Drakeford over the decision to downgrade Prince Philip's A&E.
The motion was put forward by Plaid members, who were angered by the decision to downgrade the department while keeping the same services at the three other general hospitals in the Hywel Dda Health Board area.
Plaid town and county councillor Alun Lenny told the meeting: "There will be more pressure on A&E in Glangwili hospital which is already struggling. Over the summer there were eight ambulances queuing outside Glangwili Hospital's A&E department waiting to offload patients.
"Not only that, 93 people have waited more than 24 hours to see a doctor at the A&E.
"That is disgraceful and if downgrading happens at Prince Philip who knows that the impact will be at Glangwili."
Councillors voted 33 for and 26 against an amended motion tabled by Labour councillor Tegwyn Devichand, which will see the council continue to lobby the Welsh Government and further talks over the A&E situation.
Plaid member Winston Lemon urged all Labour councillors to resign to show their feelings over the decision, which he said had failed the people of Llanelli.
"This is a chance for Labour councillors to resign here and now and condemn the Labour party," he said.
"Llanelli has been devastated by local Government here."
Labour councillor Anthony Jones backed the amendment to continue talks with the Government and not to have a vote of no confidence in the minister.
He said: "I am sure the minister and officials have looked at the big picture when making these decisions.
"It is an emotive issue, but this amendment will ensure there will be further discussions of the concerns."