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Coronavirus pandemic must rule out downgrade modelling of A&E provision at Royal Glamorgan Hospital

The Campaign to Save Royal Glamorgan Hospital A&E (SRGAE) urgently calls on the Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board to stop ALL work on considering downgrades to A&E provision at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital during the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

The Board said last week it was to temporarily pause most activities to do with reviewing the A&E department to allow its full attention on the pandemic. Some work on this by the Board is set to continue, however.

 

Len Arthur, Chair of the Campaign to Save Royal Glamorgan Hospital A&E (SRGAE), says the Board should stop all its downgrade modelling. A meeting of the Board – normally open to the public – is being held behind closed doors on 26 March. The Board claims it is difficult to stream proceedings live, even though community groups the world over are using tools such as Zoom to connect with each other. This adds to concerns and suspicion that the Board may be progressing its plans in secret. The Campaign calls for full transparency, which should be possible, even during these difficult times. 

 

“They cannot model anything at the moment until we’ve been through this pandemic. All the lessons will need to be taken account of in terms of the local role of emergency departments. Also pressing ahead at a time when people desperately need the NHS locally will just add to their concerns,” he says.

 

Social media is increasingly providing examples of worried residents seeking hospitalisation due to severe Coronavirus symptoms. We need all the capacity we can get, not less, and people will not be reassured if they suspect plans to reduce medical services at the Royal Glamorgan are proceeding.

 

We are immensely grateful to our NHS and all its employees for the tremendous work they do on a daily basis, not just during this pandemic. Many of our campaigners and supporters are chronically ill and depend heavily on medical services, at times on an emergency basis. “The only way to allay public concerns is to put a total and immediate stop to downgrade plans,” says Len Arthur.