THERE are efforts to undermine medical services in Wales’ largest town - that’s the scathing assessment of Barry’s MP after the Vale's health board was forced to close Barry’s minor injuries unit for a number of weeks.

MP for the Vale of Glamorgan Alun Cairns praised staff for getting the unit back open earlier than anticipated, but he did not hold back in his assessment of the health board’s running of Barry Hospital.

Three weeks ago, Cardiff and Vale Health Board had to close the minor injury unit due to “staffing issues” with the unit not scheduled to reopen until September.

Now, the health board say the unit will open Friday, August 18, after staff agreed to work additional hours.

Despite the news, Mr Cairns is unhappy with how the hospital is being run, claiming it is an "after-thought" - despite it having to serve Wales’ biggest town.

Mr Cairns began: “My thanks go to the staff, (for working over to get the unit open again).

“However, the suspension is still evidence that Barry Hospital is treated as an after-thought by the health board and Welsh Government - something I highlighted in my letter to the chief executive on Monday. This is unacceptable.

“I am worried the closure was the latest effort to undermine a key medical service in Wales’ largest town.

“More than 50,000 people live in Barry and it is wholly unacceptable that we don’t have at the least a continuously serving minor injuries unit. Other areas like Llanelli and Cwmbran have their own hospitals.”

Barry And District News: Alun Cairns claims the health service in Barry is an afterthoughtAlun Cairns claims the health service in Barry is an afterthought (Image: Newsquest)

Barry And District News: Barry Hospital's minor injuries unit was going to be closed until SeptemberBarry Hospital's minor injuries unit was going to be closed until September (Image: Google Maps)

Yesterday, August 15, the health board revealed a new date for when Barry’s minor injuries unit would reopen.

A spokesperson for the health board said; “We are pleased to confirm that the Barry Minor Injuries Unit will reopen on Friday, August 18.

“This has only been possible due to the goodwill of our amazing staff who have kindly agreed to change their shifts and work additional hours to cover the gaps in the rota due to sickness.”

“We would like to once again apologise to any residents or visitors to the Vale of Glamorgan for any inconvenience they may have experienced over the last three weeks.

“In the meantime, patients who feel that they need minor injuries services are still encouraged to contact 111 in the first instance, where they will be directed to the most appropriate service for their needs.”