A BARRY hospital ward threatened with closure has earned a reprieve following a public campaign - with the health board considering a revised proposal on November 28.

The 23-bed Sam Davies Ward offers rehabilitation assistance for those who have had strokes and respite care for dementia patients.

The Barry & District News (June 27) reported that ward staff had been informed that a redesign of services and the development of a new model of care by Cardiff and Vale University Health Board could mean the Sam Davies Ward closing.

Unison Cymru Wales said the board had failed to engage with staff and the community about its plans and it would launch a petition and “fight on the streets”.

13,000 people signed the trade union’s petition calling for the award-winning Sam Davies Ward to remain open and a march and rally from Barry hospital to King Square was held in October.

UNISON regional organiser, Andrew Woodman said: “This is a tremendous victory and we have demonstrated people cherish their local hospital services and they recognise the valuable work staff do to support the elderly in the community.

“Unison marched, leafleted, petitioned and we have shown when people bandy together the powerful are forced to listen.

"It’s a great advert for trade union solidarity and a community united in defending their local public services.

“We must remain vigilant and protect health services for local people but it’s clear without Unison, the Sam Davies Ward would have been closed by now.

“The Sam Davies Ward was praised by Carers Trust South East Wales as a “shining example” and it was peculiar the health board wanted to close it.

“Thank you to the people of Barry, your magnificent response to our campaign energised healthcare workers and made them even more determined to defend the hospital.”

A Cardiff and Vale University Health Board spokeswoman said: “Following an eight week public engagement process the Health Board has considered all of the feedback and would like to thank the public, staff and stakeholders for taking their time to let us know what they think of the proposals.

“The Health Board maintains that the new pathway is the right thing to do to improve care for frail older people in the Vale of Glamorgan.

“However, we have listened to the views and recognise that stakeholders would like to see more evidence to show how the pathway would work within the Vale of Glamorgan so they can see the benefits in action.

“The Board of Cardiff and Vale University Health Board will now consider a revised proposal at its meeting on November 28, 2019.

“In the meantime we will continue implementing the frailty models at University Hospital Llandough which includes Discharge to Assess and the Acute Frailty Assessment Service which aims to benefit patients by reducing the need for hospital admission and in turn reduces clinical de-conditioning in patients.

“The beds at Sam Davies Ward will remain open while we get the frailty models up and running.

“We will then review the evidence from the new Vale of Glamorgan model to inform the next steps of the pathway and consider opportunities to maximise the important role that Barry Hospital will play in the local community.

“As part of the engagement process, the Health Board received some helpful ideas on developing services in the future and will also be working closely with partner agencies to develop plans for Barry Hospital to become a health and wellbeing centre which will provide services that will benefit the whole community of Barry.

“We will also continue with work on developing the health, wellbeing and rehabilitation services at University Hospital Llandough as part of the broader Clinical Services Plan in order to continue to deliver our strategy: “Shaping our Future Wellbeing” continuing to put “Wyn” our representative patient at the heart of everything we do.”

An update to the proposal will be posted following discussion with the Board at a meeting in the Memo Arts Centre, Gladstone Road, Barry, on Thursday, November 28.