UNISON healthcare workers have launched a petition to save the threatened Sam Davies ward in Barry Hospital.

The trade union has called on the whole of the town to sign up to defend their local health services.

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board wants to close the acute rehabilitation ward and Unison Cymru Wales has accused it of a complete failure to properly engage with staff and the local community about its plans.

Hospital directors began to ‘engage’ with staff on a Barry Hospital ward to outline proposals which the health board believes will improve patient care in June this year.

Staff on the Sam Davies ward, in Barry Hospital were informed that a redesign of services and the development of a new model of care could mean the closure of the ward in line with the ‘right first time’ approach and the development of the acute frailty service in University Hospital Llandough.

The Save Barry Hospital Ward petition is live on the Welsh Government website and Unison healthcare workers have already been distributing paper copies in the hospitals for patients and their families to support.

The e-petition, Save Sam Davies Ward at Barry Hospital, reads: "We the undersigned call on the Welsh Government, being the ultimate body responsible for the provision of health care in Wales, to stop the proposal of the Cardiff & Vale UHB to close the Sam Davies Ward, a 23 bedded older persons acute rehabilitation ward at the Barry Hospital, and to ensure that the Barry Hospital continues to provide health services to the public of Barry the largest Town in Wales.

"The Sam Davies Ward is a 23 bedded older persons acute rehabilitation ward.

"The services include stroke rehabilitation, orthopaedic rehabilitation, and medical rehabilitation amongst other key health services.

"The ward also has two respite beds."

The trade union has organised two community days of action to speak to members of the public about their concerns and how they can join the trade union’s campaign.

The action days take place in King Square, Barry, from 9am to 3pm on Tuesday, August 6 and in Barry Island, from 10am to 4pm on Saturday, August 31.

Unison Cymru Wales regional organiser, Andrew Woodman said: “People rely on local and easily accessible public services and they can’t understand why the health board thinks it’s acceptable close the Sam Davies ward and force them to travel to health services based at Llandough or the Heath hospital.

“Unison's campaign has really stuck a chord with the public.

"We are determined to resist the closure and we want everyone in Barry to join us.”

The union added that many Barry hospital healthcare workers live locally and don’t drive so redeployment will be difficult and that the board has not promised that job losses will be avoided

Sign via assembly.wales/en/gethome/e-petitions/Pages/petitiondetail.aspx?PetitionID=1601