CAMPAIGNERS want a 24-hour, doctor-led A&E unit at the new Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr (YYF), but health chiefs say that cannot happen.

Calls for a full-blown A&E at the Ystrad Mynach hospital, have grown in recent weeks amid concerns that many people have to go to the Royal Gwent having initially gone to YYF, because the latter does not have the facilities to treat them.

A campaign group has been set up and an online petition has attracted almost 1,000 signatures.

The group, which has a Facebook page, also wants the South Wales Programme, which would see A&E and other key services concentrated on four or five hospital sites across a region stretching from Chepstow to Swansea, to be scrapped.

The petition preamble states that since Caerphilly District Miners’ Hospital closed, many people have been disappointed by the service available at YYF: “Many have been sat there for hours, [only] to be told they need to go elsewhere, as they don’t have the facilities.

“We believe there should be a doctor-led, 24-hour A&E... as every second counts and should not be wasted being passed from one hospital to another.”

A public meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 15, at 7pm, at The Valley Greyhound Stadium Pub, Twyn Road, Ystrad Mynach.

An Aneurin Bevan Health Board statement says: “We simply will not be able to provide the doctors for a full accident and emergency department in Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr.”

A 24/7 local emergency centre, including a minor injuries service, is part of YYF, and has increased patient numbers compared to those seen at Caerphilly Miners’ by 42 per cent, or more than 8,000, in its first year.

“It will be impossible to provide doctor-led services for an A&E.

There are already doctor vacancies for A&E services locally and significantly across South Wales,” says the health board statement.

”The current number of A&E units in South Wales will be reduced. There are simply insufficient numbers of trained A&E doctors available to run these services. This is a national and not just Welsh problem.”