Star gives surgery new lease of life

By Maxine Clayman

A campaign by the Llanelli Star has prevented the emergency surgery facility being moved from the town’s hospital.

In less than two weeks almost 2,000 readers signed petition forms
printed in the South Wales weekly. As a result a recommendation to move
the operations from Prince Philip Hospital were scrapped on 25 May when
the Carmarthenshire Local Health Boardthrew out a report drawn up by
the Royal College of Surgeons to move surgical services to Carmarthen,
25 miles west of Llanelli.

The Star’s campaign gained the support
of key local figures and was praised by health watchdogs and local
Welsh Assembly member Catherine Thomas.

Editor Andy Pearson said:
” Our Save Our Surgery campaign simply did what local papers do best,
harnessing people power to show the authorities they should think
again. It was a case of nipping a problem in the bud.

“We believe removing emergency surgery would have meant a threat to life and downgrading of services at Prince Philip.”

The
Star fought an eight-month campaign against night-time closure last
summer which led to the Prince Philip’s A&E unit returning to
24-hour opening.

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