Fear MIU closure is "tip of the iceberg"
12:10pm Saturday 2nd February 2013 in County News
Fears that the plan to close Tenby’s Minor Injury Unit is the tip of the iceberg have been voiced by a campaigning county councillor.
“The ultimate aim of the health board is to get rid of the building, retract all its services and move everything from the south-east of the county to Withybush or Glangwili,” claimed Councillor Mike Evans.
Forty per cent of people living in the area that Councillor Evans represents in Tenby do not have their own transport – and this was repeatedly pointed out to Hywel Dda Local Health Board chiefs in questionnaires during the consultation period.
“But they have just not listened,”
said Councillor Evans.
“The health board has been embarassed by the consultation because so many people in the south east of the county have responded.”
The unit is housed in the purpose-built Tenby Cottage Hospital, which opened in March 2006, and also provides a day-care and outpatients’ facilities.
On Saturday morning, a crowd of more than 150 protesters, led by Tenby’s mayor, Councillor Trevor Hallett, gathered outside its gates for a demonstration against the MIU closure proposals.
A meeting of county, town and community councillors in Tenby last week agreed on the protest as part of their plan of action against the situation.
“The turnout shows the strength of feeling in the community,” said Mansel Thomas, the chairman of the South East Pembrokeshire Community Health Network “The health board is so committed to close our minor injury unit.
“It is an appalling decision, and they have not respected in any way the effect that closure will have on our community.
“We are going to keep up the fight and keep the pressure up for as long as we can.”
The health board’s current stance on the future of the Cottage Hospital building is ‘to explore alternative use of the existing premises, in discussion with local GP practices and the local authority’, a spokesman told the Western Telegraph.