Simon Thomas has a proven track record of actively campaigning to secure the retention of many vital services at Withybush Hospital. Simon will continue to fight for justice and to keep these public services as decentralised and as close to you, the public, as possible.
Here's what Simon has been fighting for over the last few years:
Withybush Hospital campaigners greeted by Assembly Members outside Senedd - 08/03/2016
Assembly Member Simon Thomas joined health campaigners outside the Senedd in Cardiff Bay to welcome petitioners fighting to restore services at Withybush Hospital.
Plaid Cymru Assembly Member Simon Thomas said: “It was good to meet so many health campaigners from Pembrokeshire who came to the Senedd building in Cardiff Bay on Tuesday. They made the case for the return 24-hour paediatric services at Withybush Hospital.
“I’d like to congratulate Pembrokeshire father Myles Bamford-Lewis from Dinas for collecting over 20,000 signatures in such a short space of time as part of the campaign for services. He only started the petition at the beginning of the year. A cross party group of Assembly Members met him to collect his petition to the Health Minister.
“The number of petitioners shows the Welsh Government the strength of feeling from Pembrokeshire regarding these services.
“It was important that there was a demonstration when the National Assembly was in session. I told the campaigners that there will be a manifesto commitment from Plaid Cymru on the restoration of services at Withybush Hospital.”
The Western Telegraph: A Letter for publication - 26/11/15
Plaid Cymru is disappointed and indeed angry that special care baby services and overnight paediatric care look unlikely to return to Withybush Hospital.
The highly respected health research body The King’s Fund report on ‘The reconfiguration of health services – what is the evidence?’ concludes that centralisation maybe safe for urban areas, but not for rural areas like Pembrokeshire.
A study of French births found that distance to an obstetric unit did not increase neonatal mortality risk except for distances greater than 45km (Pilkington et al 2014).
One Dutch study discovered that women who changed risk status from ‘low’ to ‘high’ during labour had worse outcomes; it also found that a transfer time from home to hospital of more than 20 minutes by car was associated with increased risk of mortality and adverse outcomes (Ravelli et al 2011).
The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health do highlight that some families have had harrowing experiences due to additional travelling time and uncertainty about the need for transfers, however they do not recommend the Health Minister to rethink his decision over the services at Withybush.
I was pleased that Party of Wales Leader Leanne Wood agreed with me that Withybush services would not be removed or placed under threat by a Plaid Cymru Welsh Government.
Wales needs a new government to end Labour’s legacy of failure. We’ll provide the leadership needed to strengthen our NHS and to create and share wealth.
Mid and West AM
Article from the Western Telegraph - click here to read more
Protest at the National Assembly over removal of special care baby services at Withybush Hospital
Plaid Cymru Mid and West AM Simon Thomas has protested at the National Assembly over the removal of services from Withybush Hospital.
The Mid and West AM has tabled a series of questions to the Welsh Health Minister about plans to remove all special care baby services from Withybush Hospital.
In an email to the AM Hywel Dda Health Board admits that plans to provide all special care baby services at Glangwili Hospital is due to come into force on 4 August 2014.
Plaid Cymru AM Simon Thomas said: “The Party of Wales is bitterly disappointed that the Welsh Government and the Health Minister has not listened to the people of Pembrokeshire. The strength of feeling could be seen with record crowds of campaigners outside the Senedd.
“Plaid Cymru will continue to put pressure on the Welsh Government demanding answers about health services in Pembrokeshire and across the Mid and West region.”
Hywel Dda Health Board also confirmed that following a series of meetings with senior paediatric clinical staff it is clear that the timelines for recruitment mean that it is not possible to safely move the service at the beginning of August. It is imperative that any changes are made safely and therefore changes to paediatric services in Glangwili andWithybush Hospitals will now take place in October and not at the same time as maternity and neonatal service changes.
Party of Wales AM Simon Thomas added: “This delay in moving paediatrics because of the recuritment problems raises questions about the prudence of the removal of services fromWithybush. It is also another example of a why Plaid Cymru’s plan to recruit 1,000 extra doctors is needed.”
Coverage in the press
(click the picture to read the full article)