Mid Wales

Bronglais Hospital: Public meeting motion rejects Hywel Dda plans

Almost 550 people have attended a meeting called to raise concerns about Bronglais Hospital in Aberystwyth.

Members of the public, hospital staff and politicians supported a motion to reject Hywel Dda Health Board's plans.

Concerns have been raised by patients and senior staff at Bronglais that services could be moved to Ysbyty Glangwili in Carmarthen.

Earlier, the board said "absolutely no decisions have yet been made," but "that no change is not an option."

The meeting at the town's Penparcau Memorial Hall was organised by Aberystwyth Town Council.

The motion also called on Health Minister Lesley Griffiths to authorise the preparation of a new plan for "a health service for mid Wales in mid Wales."

'Downgrade'

The health board's chief executive, Trevor Purt, and chairman, Chris Martin, were invited to the meeting, but did not attend.

Image caption Before the meeting Health Minister Lesley Griffiths urged officials to listen to medics and the comunity

In its statement released earlier in the day the board said it was engaged in a listening and engagement exercise which aimed to increase understanding of the challenges facing the NHS in Wales.

As part of this exercise, the board is holding events across the Hywel Dda area, with a meeting in Aberystwyth on Wednesday, 22 February.

Aberystwyth Town Council now plans to lead a delegation to the Senedd on 29 February.

Hours before the meeting on Friday evening, Mrs Griffiths urged the health board to "listen and engage" with medical staff and the community over Bronglais.

It follows a letter from consultants and specialists who said they had lost confidence in the board, which they did not believe was committed to delivering services locally and that its plans were contrary to those agreed with medical staff.

The also questioned whether key services could be transferred to Carmarthen, after Hywel Dda health board published a consultation document on its clinical services strategy.

In response, the board said it "would not consider unsafe solutions".

One proposal about accident and emergency services includes an option which would downgrade Bronglais to an "urgent care centre".

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