Hundreds sign hospital petition in first few days

Tivyside Advertiser: Elin Jones AM and Paul Davies AM sign the petition with hospital campaigners Elin Jones AM and Paul Davies AM sign the petition with hospital campaigners

HUNDREDS of people have already signed a community petition protesting against the closure of in-patient beds at Cardigan Hospital.

Campaigners from the Hospital league of friends and the town council were at Tesco all day on Thursday encouraging Christmas shoppers to sign the petition.

And this week local AM Elin Jones signed the petition along with neighbouring Preseli Pembrokeshire AM Paul Davies.

“The number of people who have already signed the petition organised by the Hospital Friends and the Town Council shows the strength of feeling on both sides of the Teifi on the issue. I’m determined to work together, as representatives of all parties and of none, to ensure that Cardigan’s voice is heard loud and clear," she said.

“I was pleased to have the chance to meet with representatives of the Friends, as well as hospital staff, last week, to discuss the next steps. We need to put as much pressure as possible on the Health Minister and Hywel Dda Board.

“The chairman and chief executive of the Health Board have now agreed to meet with myself and other constituency AMs and local councillors in early January. They will be left in no doubt as to the strength of feeling of people within our area. Cardigan has an unanswerable case for a community hospital, and I’ll be seeking a firm timetable for the building of the new facility. The Health Board has let down the people of this area; they’ll have to work very hard to rebuild trust.”

Paul Davies, AM for Preseli Pembs, said: "Even though Cardigan Hospital is located outside my constituency its services are hugely important to the people I represent in North Pembrokeshire. The closure of beds at the hospital by Hywel Dda Health Board without any consultation is totally unacceptable. Surely, the local health board should have engaged with the local community before taking such an important decision. It's now crucial that the Welsh Government intervenes in this matter and makes a statement on how this unacceptable situation has been allowed to develop."

And Newcastle Emlyn MP Jonathan Edwards said it was an example of how remodelling services hit the vulnerable.

"West Wales is a disparate, rural area and this kind of bureaucratic patient model just does not work here," he said.

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