I am very concerned about the Health Board’s future plans, so this morning I attended their meeting as I had submitted a 4-part question for answer at the meeting. You will see below the questions I asked Hywel Dda and their response. I will continue to ask questions and stress the need for us to have the fullest possible range of services in Llanelli.
My questions to the Health Board
Background: In the recent Consultation, all three options propose moving the A& E to a new hospital “between St Clears and Narberth” (Whitland for short), some very considerable distance from the bulk of the Carmarthenshire-Pembrokeshire population who reside in the East of Carmarthenshire ( Llanelli, Gwendraeth and Amman Valleys). I am therefore very concerned about additional cost and capacity issues in ambulance transport, worried that, when patients are sent home, many will be too frail or unwell to use public transport and the cost of a taxi would be prohibitive, and concerned about the real difficulties for elderly spouses and relatives in getting to Whitland to visit loved ones. Therefore, I should be grateful if you would answer the following question.
Question: In the light of the proposal to move A&E to a new hospital “between St Clears and Narberth”,
- If ambulances protocols direct the most urgent life-threatening cases to the nearest A&E, what assessment has been made of the additional number of cases, in which, without A&E facilities at Carmarthen, Morriston would be nearer to the incident than Whitland, and would therefore be the A&E of choice?
- If A&E is moved to Whitland, what assessment has been made of the additional number of cases where patients, particularly from the East Carmarthenshire area, where the bulk of the population live choosing to self-present at Morriston or transport sick relatives to Morriston because it is nearer and /or they fear the subsequent difficulties of visiting, if their relative is hospitalised in Whitland?
- What discussions have been held with the ABMU Health Board and Welsh Government about the provision of additional staff, beds and facilities at Morriston to cope with the additional numbers noted in (A) and (B) above?
- Furthermore, if A&E is moved from Carmarthen, there will be more patients who are closer to Llanelli than the new A&E in Whitland than there are currently, so what plans are there for additional, enhanced AMAU and MIU facilities at Prince Philp Hospital to cope with the extra numbers and / or AMAU and MIU facilities at Glangwili?
Response from the Health Board