Wednesday, 17 July 2013

More Thoughts on the Health Service Proposals

I was sent a copy of this letter a few days ago, by a lady who was sending it to the B&R, to voice her concerns about the proposals for hospital changes in South Powys and across South Wales. The B&R haven't printed it in this week's edition, so I thought I'd put it here:

Are we living in a Soap?
Dear Editor,
We are all sitting comfortably watching our favourite soap. "Casualty" is mine, lives are at risk in the City and the services will save them if they can. What we don't realise is that we have a different reality to face in Country areas like Powys.
Kirsty Williams AM and our ambulance crews have highlighted the lack of cover we already suffer from in Powys.(BandR 20/6/13).
Now we hear that Neville Hall A & E Casualty is to go. Hereford is already overstretched, possibly going bankrupt, and ambulances can get sent away.
Our ambulance paramedics are going to be put under even more pressure and we will be left waiting and waiting for that emergency medical help, which could save us or a loved one. The longer we wait, the further we have to go, the greater the risk to our lives and continuing health.
Again it seems, by the backdoor, life changing and frightening decisions are being made about our health services. The Authorities are to drastically cut our access to A &E services in Powys. The notice of the consultation meetings was very short, a week to ten days, and the title South Wales Programme is not very striking. I could not get to any of the meetings but a neighbour did and returned with an expensive looking, questionaire containing a brochure. They were told at the last meeting that only 150 people had attended meetings in total. So only 150 people are aware of the gamble our Health Board is proposing to take with our lives.
Looking at what the South Wales Programme is not offering us, a brochure should have been sent to every household in Powys. The brochure has "have your say on it" but it is confusing and tricky in the way it is written. It probably makes sense for us to travel further afield for certain specialities but for A and E (which is at the heart of this proposal), I think not! It even asks you to opt for a hospital that is not built yet, (the SCCC in Cwmbran), that needs a quarter of a billion pounds to complete. Where is that kind of money to come from in these times?
Can this be a valid consultation with a non existent option in it? Some say our best bet would be the Prince Charles in Merthyr but that is still too far for us in South East Powys and the A470 gets closed regularly for accidents and the inclement weather.

I am wondering where all the people we voted for to protect us in Powys are in this? Why are they not looking out for our families and communities over this issue? Life is hard and busy, for many of us in these days, and our communities are older, vulnerable and far too trusting. We look to our representatives to fight for us. They should be up in arms, knocking on doors, organising petitions and public meetings.
What are they doing about this and those who want to replace them at the next elections?
Well, I have had a wake-up call and I will be phoning the number on that glossy brochure 0300 0830020, and getting my own copy. I will be ticking the "strongly disagree" box on page 1 and the "another option" on page 2. I will be filling up the "further comments" box on page 3, with that other option (the upgrade of Neville Hall). On page 4, fair play to them they ask about positive and negative effects of the South Wales Programme with regards to equalities. In this section I will explain that all of us, living in this rural area of Wales are being disadvantaged, and our health and well-being threatened, whatever our equality needs maybe. Could this also be a human rights issue?
They asked what can be done about this and I will tell them that the only remedy is for Neville Hall Casualty to remain and for it to be improved with the newest technology.
So I have decided that it will not be good enough for me to just watch my soaps and hope for the best.
If you agree, please phone for your own brochure and do anything else you can think of to keep us all as well and safe as we can be, in this part of the world.
Yours Sincerely
Mrs P Outwaite,
The Old Chapel,

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