Assembly Member Angela Burns calls for honesty over Withybush A&E future
1:30pm Friday 21st February 2014 in News
A county Assembly Member has urged 'honesty and transparency' over the future of Withybush Hospital's accident and emergency department.
During a heated exchange at First Minister's questions, south Pembrokeshire Assembly Member Angela Burns raised her concerns over the future of A&E at Withybush Hospital.
First Minister Carwyn Jones had just told a Regional AM that Withybush A&E would remain, saying: “I can say that the local health board has confirmed that it wishes to see 24/7 emergency cover continue at Withybush General Hospital”.
But Mrs Burns replied: “Perhaps you would care to tell us what effect there will be on A&E as paediatrics is now being sucked to Glangwili hospital and there will be less and less paediatric cover in Withybush hospital.
"Paediatrics, as you know, takes up 25% of most A&Es, and, without paediatrics going through that hospital, A&E at Withybush will have no option but to have a reconfiguration of hours.
"Some honesty in this discussion from the health board to a public that is already very upset by the changes going on in Hywel Dda in the Pembrokeshire area would be much appreciated. The Minister promised us clarity and transparency, a lesson the health board has yet to learn”.
Speaking afterwards Mrs Burns said: "I want some honesty here. I'm always being accused by Labour of scaremongering but I have been proved right so far, look what's happening.
"The SCBU is closing. Paediatric training is being centred at Glangwili. Trauma is being centred at Glangwili. The reality is that children of all ages are a substantial part of the traffic flow through an A&E.
"Without paediatricians the A&E will become financially unviable. With Trauma moving eastwards this compounds the problem. I want honesty from the Government and the Health Board and the patsy question and answer with the First Minister by a regional AM was simply part of the smoke and mirrors campaign being waged by Labour Assembly Members under pressure to stop their Government destroying the Withybush."