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Almost 25,000 sign petition to save A&E at Royal Glamorgan

The Campaign to Save Royal Glamorgan Hospital A&E (SRGAE) is proud to announce that almost 25,000 people have signed the petition to permanently retain a 24-hour consultant led, accident and emergency department at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, Llantrisant. At the time of writing, 24,093 signatures had been returned. More are expected to follow.

 

Len Arthur, Chair of SRGAE, says: “This collection of signatures is an amazing result for our campaign and had it not been for the COVID-19 pandemic, I have absolutely no doubt that we would have gathered in many more than this. We have had community street teams strategically placing the petitions in shops and leisure centres, and campaigners have been going door to door collecting. We would have carried on with great vigour had the pandemic not prevented our physical activity.”

 

Diane Blackmore, Vice-Chair of SRGAE, says: “The petition represents some 10% of the catchment area served by the Royal Glamorgan Hospital and has picked up on many households without access to our Facebook group/technology. It sends a very clear message to Cwm Taf University Health Board that they must think again.”

 

The Board is planning to press ahead and make a firm decision on the future status of the Royal Glamorgan Hospital Accident & Emergency department at its meeting on 29 June. The campaign says the Board must stop and not be so hasty. We share the Board’s wish to make service provision safe as quickly as possible but there are so many lessons to learn from the coronavirus pandemic that more time is needed to examine the data and experience of the outbreak, conduct analysis and arrive at the right decision. That has to be one that fully meets the needs of the local community – and that includes the elderly and frail, those with chronic or acute conditions and who sometimes require urgent medical treatment, as well as those who do not have their own transport.  

 

The Board has previously reported ‘some early success’ in developing substantive roles for existing locum staff, encouraging their longer term employment in the department and training as consultants. On 3 April, Tamsin Gerrard, Medical Workforce Manager for the Health Board, tweeted that the Board had received ‘such a fantastic response’ to its first ‘Doctors in Emergency Medicine’ post that it had closed applications. The post is for up to 12 months and will help meet the needs of the service during COVID-19, according to the Health Board.

 

The campaign will be discussing with the Health Board the practicalities of handing over the petition in a safe and responsible way, and with due regard to social distancing.

 

 Picture captionDiane Blackmore, Vice-Chair of SRGAE, spent over five hours counting petition signatures

About the Campaign to save the Royal Glamorgan Hospital A&E:

This is a grassroots campaign set up on Facebook with over 22,000 members (https://www.facebook.com/groups/SRGAE/?ref=br_rs). The group has reached out to the community beyond social media and estimates a reach of a further 40,000.

It has set up a series of community action groups around the catchment area and will be stepping up its actions as the campaign evolves. 

 

The campaign’s stated aim is “The permanent retention at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital of a 24-hour consultant led, emergency department.”