A MEETING of the Cardiff & Vale University Health Board, held in public at the Barry Memo, has seen board members push forward with proposals to turn Barry Hospital a “health and wellbeing centre.”

Members, union representatives, hospital staff, and public heard the health board committee say the frailty model in Llandough Hospital would be progressed and the Sam Davies ward would stay open while this and the planning for Barry Hospital’s wellbeing provision was completed.

The Cardiff & Vale University Health Board received 270 responses and a 13,000-strong petition during the public consultation.

A Cardiff & Vale University Health Board spokeswoman said: “The Health Board would like to thank the public, staff and stakeholders for taking their time to let us know what they think of the proposals during the eight-week engagement process.

“The feedback and information received was invaluable.

“The Board of Cardiff and Vale UHB has agreed the recommendations put forward at the recent Board meeting (November 28) subject to feedback from the Community Health Council at their Board meeting on December 10.

“The revised proposal includes progressing the frailty model at University Hospital Llandough, to bring forward the planning for the health and wellbeing centre at Barry Hospital and that Sam Davies ward will remain open while these pieces of work are completed.

“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 and to keep people well in the community and out of a hospital setting.

“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.

“The first planning session for the future of Barry Hospital will take place on December 4 where a full engagement process will follow in 2020.”

Vale AM Jane Hutt was at the Memo meeting where the recommendations for the future of services for frail elderly people including confirmation of a reprieve of the beds in the Sam Davies Ward.

Ms Hutt said: “I welcomed the Health Board’s recognition of the strong public support for the Sam Davies Ward as a result of the public engagement and 13,000 plus petition and asked for staff, unions and groups such as the Over 50’s Forum and Soroptimists to be fully involved in the workshop about the future of the hospital.

“I asked for assurance that the future retention of the Sam Davies Ward would form a key part of these discussions.

“I also called for the views of the Community Health Council meeting on December 10 at the Memo to be taken into account and urged people to attend the meeting which will also be open to the public.”

Unison Cardiff and Vale health branch chairman, Stuart Egan also attended the meeting.

He said: “There’s no doubt that if Barry healthcare workers hadn’t campaigned and if thousands of local people hadn’t signed UNISON’s petition, the Sam Davies Ward would already be shut.

“That shows what a community united to defend their public services can achieve.

“That strength of local feeling surprised the health board.

“This is a reprieve for the Sam Davies Ward and that means we have to be ever-vigilant against attempts to undermine it in future.

“We cannot allow Barry Hospital to ever be downgraded and it’s vital the hospital provides in-patient beds.

“Unison will continue to speak up for the importance of quality health services based here, in Barry.”