WHILE controversy rages over the delay in the announcement by the Welsh Hospital Board on the future of the hospital system in the area, improvements which have been sought for years are proceeding at the Barry Accident and Surgical Hospital.

Everyone realises that the reorganisation of the hospital service in the area, consequent upon the opening of the Heath Hospital in 1971, may include the closing of the Barry Hospital, and some months ago a gigantic petition, signed by 22,000 people in the town was organised by the Barry Vigilante Association and handed in to the Welsh Office.

But at a meeting at Barry Town Council on Monday, Coun Bert King, who is a member of the St David’s Hospital and Barry Hospital House Committees, said a lot of work was going on at the hospital and new equipment was being put in.

A “Barry and District News” reporter on Tuesday learnt that repairs, renovations, and improvements costing hundreds, if not thousands of pounds, are being carried out. Much needed alterations are being carried out to the toilet facilities.

This involves moving the sterilisation plant and the provision of an up-to-date unit. Improved baths are also being installed.

Work is also going ahead on repairs and maintenance which have been held over in past years owing to the “squeeze” on hospital spending.

Last year it should be noted, a new mobile X-ray unit was provided while a static X-ray unit was replaced at a cost of several thousand pounds.

This week’s controversy over the hospital was sparked off by a statement at Monday’s council meeting by Coun W.G.E. Woodham, chairman of the Health Committee, that they were still waiting for the announcement by the Health Board of its plans.

Coun. Woodham said: “This report is gradually being put off and off. It has been put off from June to July, from August to September and now it has been put off until December.”

Ald. Mrs Joyce Atkins, who headed a deputation to the Welsh Office last December, when she was mayor, said they were then full of hope.

“But they have not kept faith with us,” she declared.

The mayor (Coun Ken Miles) said there was anxiety among most of them that they might be presented with a fait accompli.

It was eventually agreed that the Health Committee should consider whether to send a deputation to the Welsh Office.

Mr H. W. Durman, chairman of the Barry Vigilante Association, said yesterday (Wednesday) that the public of Barry had been pushed around too much and if satisfactory replies to letters he had sent the Secretary of State for Wales and the Welsh Hospital Board urging swift disclosure of the plans had not been received by the weekend then they would request a public enquiry into the whole matter.

“Failing this representations will be made to the Minister of Health, Mr Richard Crossman, bringing to his notice the intolerable situation that has been created through delay,” said Mr Durman.

But yesterday (Wednesday) Mr Gwilym Prys Davies, chairman of the Hospital Board, stated that he hoped their report would be published in the next fortnight.