- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
Assembly members Joyce Watson and Rebecca Evans have held a meeting with health minister Mark Drakeford and Withybush Hospital campaigners.
Hundreds of campaigners opposing changes to specialist baby care in west Wales protested at the Senedd today.
Before the demonstration, this morning, the Labour Mid and West Wales AMs convened a meeting between the minister and a group of campaigners.
Speaking after the hour and a half long private meeting (the minister was present for around 45 minutes; the meeting continued with a senior official ), Mrs Watson said:
“I am pleased that members of Withybush’s nursing staff, paediatricians and interested parties had a chance to speak to the minister at length, directly and candidly.
“We discussed issues including patient transport and travel costs; accommodation for parents when their baby has to stay in hospital; fast, safe onward transport for mothers; and the critical baby stabilisation ‘safety net’. The minister gave cast-iron assurances that all necessary arrangements would be in place before any service changes.
“I was concerned by a suggestion that, throughout this process, Hywel Dda has been reluctant to engage openly with front-line staff. That is not on, and Rebecca and I have requested an urgent meeting with the health board.”
Rebecca Evans AM added:
“The Minister was able to provide reassurances that the Health Board has presented him with no proposal that A&E will be anything less than 24/7. He reiterated his view that Withybush Hospital has a secure and successful future, and that it is a ‘necessary’ hospital for the people of west Wales.”
For more information about Joyce Watson’s work contact her office on 02920 898972 / www.joycewatson.co.uk