A CAMPAIGN may be launched to safeguard services at Neath Port Talbot Hospital following a public meeting in the town this week.
Thursday’s meeting at the Dalton Road community centre was called by the local branch of Unison in response to concerns expressed by health workers and members of the public since the transfer of acute medical services, including beds and staff, from the hospital in Baglan to hospitals in Swansea and Bridgend this month.
It was addressed by Tony Beddow, of the Socialist Health Association Cymru/Wales. Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Local Health Board chief executive Paul Roberts declined an invitation to attend, and no other representative of the health board was present. However, a statement from Mr Roberts was read to the meeting.
Unison’s ABMU branch secretary Andrew O’Leary said: “The meeting was well attended, went very well, and indeed was very emotive.
“Many people related their own experiences since this service change was imposed, and we will be feeding these comments back for the Health Board to look into and address going forward.”
He added: “I was pleased that all present gave their support to my members who have been busting a gut while performing their roles, with only one thing on their minds – patient care.
“We were very fortunate to have Professor Beddow’s vast knowledge and experience at hand. Given the positions he has held previously, such as chief executive of the former West Glamorgan Health Authority and Morriston NHS Trust, the meeting enjoyed a very informed debate.
“Many people present are interested in taking their concerns forward, and if necessary to start a campaign to secure the appropriate services that should be available at Neath Port Talbot Hospital.”
ABMU will unveil its long-awaited blueprint for health services across the region, Changing For The Better, at a special board meeting in Bridgend on Wednesday that is open to the public.
“We are now ready to share our vision for the NHS in ABM over the next five years, and how it might change to achieve our aspirations and overcome the challenges facing us,” says a report to board members.
The meeting will take place in the Waterton Technology Centre, starting at 2pm.