All Campaigns subcategories:
Huge opposition to Barry rehab ward closure
Beth Webster, Cardiff West Socialist Party
"That was challenging and uncomfortable" - the Cardiff and Vale Health Board chief executive's closing remark at a public engagement meeting on NHS cuts in Barry, South Wales.
The health board proposes moving care out of acute hospitals and into the community by replacing rehabilitation wards like the Sam Davies with a 48-hour short-stay ward, and then discharging patients home to await assessment for further community care.
But with the chronic shortage of community services, people will inevitably bounce back into acute hospital beds, also already under immense pressure.
After an hour's presentation from the health board, which one attendee described as "like being sold a timeshare," attendees had to revolt to force an open discussion and allow the full extent of opposition to be heard.
There was widespread anger at the health board's whitewashing of bed cuts as an 'improvement' to elderly people's services. One of the senior clinicians supporting the plan attempted to justify bed cuts by saying that "having beds creates demand"!
Also highlighted at the meeting was the shocking treatment of the Sam Davies staff: the health boards have scarcely engaged with them or their union, Unison. The health board has said only that workers are "likely" to find jobs at other hospitals, despite the distance on infrequent and expensive public transport.
Sam Davies staff, with support from Unison, have launched a petition, signed by around 10,000 people so far. There was a march and rally in Barry on 5 October.
As said in the meeting, the health board should be fighting for more funding from the Welsh Government to improve services rather than close them.
That health board executives on six-figure salaries can tell communities like Barry they can no longer afford vital NHS services and staff is an absolute disgrace.
Nothing highlights more clearly the necessity of health workers and communities running the NHS under public ownership and democratic control - and the support a health union-led campaign to reverse NHS cuts would have across Wales.
Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777
Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206
Regional Socialist Party organisers:
Eastern: 0798 202 1969
East Mids: 0773 797 8057
London: 020 8988 8786
North East: 0784 114 4890
North West 07954 376 096
South East: 020 8988 8777
South West: 07759 796 478
Southern: 07833 681910
Wales: 07935 391 947
West Mids: 02476 555 620
Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551