Sam’s Last Stand

I’m absolutely amazed that I managed to actually get into my safe, little ‘SVJ’s Sanctuary’ to wax lyrical this week.

Yeah, that’s right, despite all the palaver of last week’s ‘Bin Night Blues,’ I am still waiting for the Vale Council to get their act together and pick the smelly stuff up.

We can hardly move in the the cul de sac for refuse, my car sensors beep like a bad 80’s electronic disco every time I swerve down the street, the black bags have suffered serious seagull scavage.

And we are all rapidly running out of the myriad of multi-coloured bags and boxes that usually fill up our homes. It’s literally total rubbish.

But whilst I could rant on about my recycling woes – don’t even get me started on those rumoured little stickers being left on the bags if you inadvertently chuck a plastic bag in the wrong receptacle, I have a more pressing concern.

We have just over a week to let the Cardiff and Vale Health Board know how strongly we oppose the closure of the Sam Davies Ward at Barry Hospital.

The plans to close the much loved local facility, which is named after a well-known Barry doctor, and to move patients to Llandough and Cardiff, is seen by many, myself included, as the slippery slope to the closure of the whole site itself.

The Ward is a 23 bedded older persons’ acute rehabilitation ward. Services include stroke, orthopaedic, and medical rehabilitation amongst other key health services. It also has two respite beds.

It is seen by most of the community as a vital, local and accessible service that means patients stay close to home, and loved ones are able to visit easily. Traipsing out of town would prove difficult, costly, and maybe even impossible for some.

But the Health Board says the move is beneficial. It wants to get patients home sooner as even short stays in hospital with reduced mobility can lead to muscle wastage, especially among elderly and frail people.

In my view, it’s crucial that we keep our local community services for our resident’s wellbeing. And that’s without the absolute triple whammy nightmare of travel, traffic and parking at places like ‘The Heath – been there, done that, and still getting over it six months later to be honest.

So I’ve swiftly signed the Petition, marched madly at the Unison led protest, rightfully responded to the Engagement Document, and shouted loudly about the worthy cause, both quite literally and through a barnstorming blog.

Support has been strong, with many residents, local politicians, and trade unions getting involved. But campaigners still hope to see even more of us Barrians visibly stand up and be counted.

A facebook page has been set up to help facilitate this with joining just a click away.

You can also respond to the questions contained in the Engagement Document which is found here.

By emailing ValeCare.FrailOPengagement@wales.nhs.uk.

By Post to the General Manager, Ward C6 Corridor – Directorate Management Office, Integrated Medicine Directorate, Cardiff and Vale University Hospital, University Hospital of Wales, Heath Park, Cardiff CF14 4XW.

Or simply hand to Information and Support Centres at Barry Hospital, or University Hospital Llandough

To make your views known to the Community Health Council, you can email southglam.chiefofficer@waleschc.org.uk, or write to South Glamorgan Community Health Council, Pro-Copy Business Centre, Rear Parc Ty Glas, Llanishen, Cardiff CF14 5DU.

The absolute jewel in the Campaign crown though is the Community Health Council’s (CHC) Public Meeting on Wednesday 30 October at 7pm.

Why not to take five minutes to trot along to the Civic Offices, Holton Road, and have your say.

The CHC will respond to the Health Board before they make a final decision. So the more people there to make sure that the CHC represents our community and opposes the closure, the better – unity is powerful.

Sadly, I will be conspicuous by my absence as I am working late. So this early doors blog is my small way of trying to make a difference this time – and I will certainly be there in fighting spirit.

Good Luck Sam’s Ward Supporters.

Speak soon

SVJ

(c) mrssvj.co.uk

Sue Vincent-Jones, writing as Mrs SVJ, is a Barry born journalist, editor, and communications specialist.

She blogs about all things Barry – and her life in the wider world, through the eyes of a, quirky and queer, local girl done good 

Click here to see more of her news, views, campaigns, community causes, social action stories, blogs and bright ideas, from our town – and around.