Save Our A&E

Our campaign to retain a full, 24-hour, consultant-led A&E at the Royal Glamorgan hospital continues.  On this page you’ll find the campaign updates Alex Davies-Jones MP and I have issued.

If you would like to receive future updates please contact [email protected] or ring 01443 406400 to be added to the mailing list.

If you would like to discuss the A&E campaign or any other issue you can contact me directly at [email protected]

Mick Antoniw MS / Alex Davies-Jones MP
A&E Campaign Update 5 – 22 May 2020

Positive news on A&E consultants

Since our last update, the coronavirus crisis has of course dominated the news agenda.  The need to prioritise the covid-19 response meant that Cwm Taf Morgannwg Health Board put the review of the Royal Glamorgan’s A&E services on hold.  We’ve now been informed that the review will re-commence on May 28 2020 at the next Health Board meeting.

We are pleased to report some positive news.  The Health Board has confirmed that it has recruited two full-time A&E consultants for the Royal Glamorgan.  One Consultant has been employed full time and another made full time at the Royal Glam from another Cwm Taf Morgannwg Hospital.

We have previously reported that the key issue is the recruitment of consultants, so we should all be encouraged by this news, but at the same time we also urge caution.  The review continues and the availability of consultants is only one consideration.  The campaign to retain our full, 24 hour A&E must continue at the same intensity.  This is a critical time and we cannot afford to back off now.

We want to assure you that we will continue to take every opportunity to press the case for retaining our local A&E.  We will continue to lead on this critical issue and keep you updated on developments.

For your information we have released the following joint statement:

“We warmly welcome the news that two A&E consultants have been appointed to the Royal Glamorgan’s A&E.  It is encouraging that even in the midst of the current covid-19 crisis that Cwm Taf Morgannwg Health Board have continued to progress recruitment.

“This is a very positive development, but we do urge caution.  The fight to retain a full, 24 hour A&E at our local hospital is not over.  The recruitment of consultants is a very important issue, but it is only one of many.  

“We will continue to take every opportunity to press the case for retaining our local A&E and firmly believe that if we continue to make the case, together we can and will win this fight.”

If you know someone who would benefit from receiving future updates from us on this issue, please copy this email to them and they can email us to add their name to our mailing list.

SPECIAL UPDATE – 20 March 2020

Cwm Taf Morgannwg Health Board have confirmed that they are suspending work on the future of the Royal Glamorgan A&E is order to focus all resources on the coronavirus pandemic.

I fully support this decision as clearly, it is impossible to have meaningful public engagement at this time and it is absolutely right that all resources should be directed toward the coronavirus emergency.  This page will be updated when the Health Board confirm a resumption date.

Here’s the statement from the Health Board:

Notice is hereby given that a meeting of the Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board will be held in public on Thursday, 26 March 2020 at 10am.“Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board is committed to openness and transparency, and conducts as much of its business as possible in a session that members of the public are normally welcome to attend and observe.  However, in light of the current advice and guidance in relation to Coronavirus (COVID-19) we have decided not to hold our meetings in Public, a decision we have taken in the best interests of protecting the public, our staff and Board members. All papers being considered at the Board will be published on our website as normal, prior to the meeting.  We will also aim to publish a briefing as soon as possible following the Board to keep the public informed.”At the meeting there will be an update on A&E services at Royal Glamorgan Hospital.  The papers will say that there is a need to ‘pause and consolidate’ the project due to the health boards need to response to Coronavirus COVID-19.“Some background work will continue, to consolidate progress that has already been made and to plan for further engagement with the public, staff and our partner organisations in the future. We will not, however, be doing any work that will divert clinical staff from their primary roles.

Mick Antoniw MS / Alex Davies-Jones MP
A&E Campaign Update 4 – 18 March 2020

The coronavirus outbreak has of course taken priority over the last few weeks and is likely to do so for some time, so this update has been later than we had planned.  Understandably coronavirus is the absolute priority for the Health Board, but we will continue to press the case for a 24hour, consultant-led A&E at the Royal Glamorgan Health Board managers and the Minister whenever such opportunities arise.

At this stage we do not know what impact the coronavirus outbreak will have on the A&E review process, and it may be that the Health Board meeting scheduled for the end of March will not proceed, but our plan remains to make a formal submission to the Board in advance.  We will copy this document to you.

Assembly A&E debate 11th March

We have been concerned that there has been some fracturing of campaign unity over the last few weeks, but the recent Plaid Cymru sponsored debate at the Assembly provided clarification that Welsh Government are not legally able to intervene in the decision making process at this stage.

In the interest of avoiding a distracting party-political argument, we had previously resisted responding to statements made by Plaid Cymru, which we knew to be misleading, but in the light of the Assembly debate, we have formally written to Plaid Cymru to ask them to stop the distribution information, which undermines the unity which must be at the heart of our campaign.  We’ve attached a copy of this letter.    Hopefully, this clarification will mean that our campaign can be focused on the Health Board, which is the decision maker in this process.  You can find more on this here:

Health Board meeting 27th February

No decisions were scheduled to be taken at this meeting, so in the main was an update on the ‘progress’ around the assessment of options for A&E.  The number of protesters present meant that once again, the Board were left in no doubt as to the strength of feeling of residents.  You can review a recording of Mick and Alex’s summary from this meeting here:

Facilitating ‘Save Royal Glamorgan A&E‘ campaign group meeting with the Health Minister.

At our instigation Health Minister Vaughan Gething met with campaigners.  We did not attend the discussion, but Mick met with campaigners beforehand.  You can find a summary of the meeting at the Save Royal Glamorgan A&E Facebook site:

Recruiting consultants

We know that the recruitment of consultants is the key to retaining a full A&E, so Alex again raised the issue of issuing visas for overseas consultants so that they can be recruited into our NHS at Prime Minister’s Questions:

and with the British Medical Association:

Mick Antoniw MS / Alex Davies-Jones MP
A&E Campaign Update 3  – 18 Feb 2020

The terrible floods that have hit the constituency have taken priority over the last few days and our efforts to help those affected will continue to be a priority for us.  However, the campaign to save our local A&E services continues.

Since our last update, we have written to Dr Nick Lyons, the Health Board’s Clinical Director asking him to confirm the Health Board’s position on the questions that were put to the panel by you at the public meeting at Llantrisant on the 7thFebruary.  We await his response and will provide a copy to you.  Please see the letter below.

We have also met with the Health Board’s chair, Professor Marcus Longley to press again the main areas of concern.  Our sense of this meeting and from conversations with Trades Unions and others is that a Minor Injuries Unit is not a realistic option.  We hope the Health Board will rule this out soon.  That said, we remain absolutely committed to demanding the retention of a 24hr, consultant-led A&E and will continue to campaign for this.

Thank you for your support for the campaign.  Please share this with others and a further update will follow soon.

Mick Antoniw MS / Alex Davies-Jones MP
A&E Campaign Update 2 – 11 Feb 2020

Assembly Motion.

Tomorrow (Weds) Mick Antoniw and fellow AMs Dawn Bowden, Vikki Howells and Huw Irranca-Davies (and supported by MPs Alex Davies-Jones, Beth Winter, Chris Elmore and Chris Bryant) will move an amendment that if approved will be another important step in the campaign.  You can watch live here on Wednesday:   The debate is currently scheduled for approx. 4.20pm, but we understand it may be brought forward.  You can check the business running order here:

Protest at the Senedd

Also on Wednesday, there will be a protest at the Senedd, which both Alex and Mick will attend.  You can find details below or follow this link:

Mick Antoniw MS / Alex Davies-Jones MP
A&E Campaign Update 1 – 11 Feb 2020

Statement by Mick Antoniw AM and Alex Davies-Jones MP (release date 29 Jan)

“We share the wide-spread public concern about proposals to potentially downgrade or remove A&E services from the Royal Glamorgan and have received a significant volume of calls, emails and messages from constituents, who are wholly opposed to any dilution of local A&E services.   Short-term modifications to health service delivery in order to keep patients safe is of course necessary and right, but we believe that it is vital that the Royal Glamorgan continues to offer a robust A&E service into the future.

“Whilst it is important to note that this review is driven by clinicians and is not about saving money, it is six years since the Welsh Government introduced the South Wales Programme, which is the starting point for the Health Board’s proposed review.  A great deal has changed since then and there are now a number of complex factors in play, which need to be fully understood, including the challenge of recruiting consultants, the increased demand on blue-light services and substantially increased demand on A&E.

“Whatever short-term, temporary or long-term proposals are made it is vital that the voice of local people is heard.  We are pleased to have arranged a public meeting on Friday 7th February at 7pm at Llantrisant Leisure Centre and we encourage as many people as possible to attend and have their say.   A&E is a service that everyone hopes they will never need to use, but if they do, the service must be consultant led and within easy reach of local people.”  ENDS

Mick Antoniw AM & Alex Davies-Jones MP letter to Vaghan Gething 30 January 2020

Mick Antoniw AM statement 4 February 2020

“There is no institution more important to people’s lives than the NHS.  Created by Labour for the people, its intrinsic strength is that it is owned by the people and run for the benefit of all.  It remains to this day one of our finest achievements.

“Whilst it is right that clinicians have a pivotal role in configuring A&E services, it is the responsibility of elected politicians to speak for the people not doctors.  The Royal Glamorgan is our hospital.  Its Accident and Emergency service is vital to the wellbeing of the community I represent.   Six years ago I campaigned to retain Accident and Emergency services in the Royal Glamorgan Hospital and I am absolutely committed to doing so again now, in the interests of my constituents.

“Overwhelmingly, this view is supported by the people I represent and live amongst and I will continue to stand with local Welsh Labour AMs and MPs in fighting to retain robust A&E services at our local hospital.”  ENDS

Public meeting flyer 7 February 2020.