South West Wales

Prince Philip Hospital, Llanelli: around 400 attend public meeting

Around 400 people have attended a public meeting to discuss concerns over the future of the A&E department at Prince Philip Hospital in Llanelli.

It follows a "stop the closure" march by campaigners in the town last Saturday.

There are fears that the hospital might not survive if services are downgraded or relocated.

Hywel Dda Health Board said the future of the hospital as a major health care provider was secure.

Thursday night's meeting was organised by the action group CIH Sospan at the Selwyn Samuel Centre in Llanelli.

In December, the health board unveiled proposals to change the provision of emergency treatment at its hospitals in mid and west Wales.

In each option, A&E at Llanelli would be downgraded to what the board calls an "urgent care centre", with full A&E services available at Glangwili in Carmarthen or Withybush in Haverfordwest.

The board said it was embarking on a "listening and engagement exercise" to formulate options which would go to formal consultation.

In a statement, the board said: "The majority of care (80%) provided at Prince Philip Hospital's A&E department is minor in nature and is currently available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

"This includes minor trauma-related injuries such as sprains, lower and upper limb injuries, abrasions, minor swellings, and minor burns.

"All these services will still be available if the unit were to be more appropriately named an urgent care centre."

The statement added: "Llanelli residents can be reassured that the future of the hospital as a major health care provider is secure and that they will continue to benefit from being served by three hospitals in the locality, including Glangwili and Morriston."

More than 500 people attended a meeting in Aberystwyth last Friday over concerns that services at the town's Bronglais Hospital could be moved to Carmarthen.

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