More than 100 march through Caerphilly amid calls for A&E unit at Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr
A MOTHER who nearly lost her son demanded an accident and emergency facility for Caerphilly county, describing the "horrific" journey to a Merthyr Tydfil hospital with her "lifeless" two-year-old.
Lisa Jones, 38, joined over 100 people from all parts of the borough on Saturday, demanding that the new £172 million Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr is given a 24-hour doctor-led A&E facility.
People marched from the site of the old Caerphilly Miners hospital- which had a nine to five A&E, but closed to make way for the new hospital- through the town centre.
Ms Jones, from Hengoed, described how Fletcher, now three, had a viral infection, which led to him having a high temperature, then suffering a feveral convulsion.
She said: "He collapsed in the house and was lifeless. The new hospital had just opened, but there was no facility for resuscitating children, so it took one hour 20 minutes waiting for an ambulance and deciding where to send him.
"The rapid response team could see how critical it was and were on the radio. The ambulance then arrived and we had a horrific journey to Prince Charles Hospital, Merthyr Tydfil, with his breathing levels dropping. Luckily, we made it just in time and they saved his life."
Blackwood councillor Patricia Cook was also at the protest- she took her husband, Parkinson’s sufferer Gareth to Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr after he badly cut his ear three months ago.
But, they were sent to Newport’s Royal Gwent Hospital and in total it took six hours for him to receive 10 stitches in the wound.
She said: "The area has been sold short. There was a perfectly good A&E at the Miners, but they close it for a £172 million facility, with no doctors there.
"It took us six hours to get treatment for Gareth, but we had a car. Some people would be waiting even longer if they needed an ambulance to take them between the two hospitals."
Campaigners have called for a local referendum on the issue, with Neil Stonelake saying: "We have a sparkling new hospital, but it has fewer facilities. It’s a job half done. It’s not a proper hospital without an A&E."
The Argus previously reported how health chiefs had said a new A&E unit could not happen.
An Aneurin Bevan Health Board statement released last month said: ""It will be impossible to provide doctor-led services for an A&E. There are already doctor vacancies for A&E services locally and significantly across South Wales. We already know A&E doctor training posts will never be placed at Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr."
"Current consultation on the South Wales Programme will not affect services provided in Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr, but means the current number of A&E units in South Wales will be reduced.
"There are simply insufficient numbers of trained A&E doctors available to run these services. This is a national and not just Welsh problem."