Deafblind charity meeting

I had a very fruitful and interesting meeting with members of the Deafblind charity in Neath discussing the issues that affect those with hearing and visual impairments in our community. Some of the issues covered included the community accommodating deafblind people, public loop systems, benefits help for deafblind people now the system has changed, Blue badges and public toilets. The work that Deafblind do to support people who have a combined sight and hearing loss is fantastic and their continuing fight so that deafblind people have the same rights, access and opportunities as others is vitally important to allow them to live independent lives.

Hain Raises Serious Concerns Over Hospital Waiting Time

Neath MP Peter Hain has raised serious concerns over hospital waiting times with Abertawe Bro Morgannwg less than six months after initially bringing them to the health board’s attention. Mr Hain has described the figures as ‘disturbing’ especially as the Neath MP had highlighted his worries with the health board in the summer when the changes to the services at Neath Port Talbot Hospital were made public.

In July Mr Hain questioned whether Morriston, Singleton and Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend were in a position to take the extra workload that would be created by Neath Port Talbot Hospital losing its acute medicine status.

In a subsequent letter to Abertawe Bro Morgannwg Mr Hain said, “I am extremely worried by reports regarding the impact Neath Port Talbot Hospital losing its acute medical status is having on Morriston Accident and Emergency.

“I raised these concerns with you (ABMUHB) in my letter in July when I first became aware of the service change at Neath Port Talbot and questioned whether Bridgend and Morriston were in a position to take the additional workload on what is an already stretched service.

“From what constituents have told me of their experiences, Morriston is struggling with the increased workload which is putting a tremendous strain on the staff and it is also impacting on other services like the Ambulance service.”

Peter Challenges Service Changes to Neath Port Talbot Hospital

Peter has expressed deep concern over the service change at Neath Port Talbot Hospital. Writing to Paul Roberts, Chief Executive of Abertawe Bro Morgannwg UBH, Peter warned that the loss of acute emergency services from the Baglan site will have a ‘major impact on the surrounding hospitals as they plug the gap left behind’.

A number of Peter’s constituents have approached him with some very worrying stories about current stretches on emergency services. In one case a person was taken ill in the early hours of the morning. An ambulance took them on Morriston hospital where they were left waiting in an ambulance for over six hours outside A&E. They had a wait of nine hours, from being taken ill to getting inside the hospital. This is unacceptable and the situation is likely to worsen significantly should the change in services go ahead.

Peter expressed further concern over when Mr Roberts first became aware of the problem caused by recruitment issues that has led to this situation. ‘I find it difficult to believe’, said Peter, ‘that this is something that has cropped up recently but rather that has been on-going for quite some time’. Peter asked why it is that the problem has not been tackled earlier through recruitment or staff transfers.

Peter concluded that he ‘cannot believe this recruitment problem is insoluble’ and that empty doctors’ posts must be filled. ‘It is too important for the people of Neath and Port Talbot to lose this service.’