The Penyrheol TUSC Campaign held a public meeting on Thursday, 19 April in the Aneurin Labour Club in Penyrheol. Nineteen people attended, the majority making contact with the campaign for the first time. The big issue in the area is the fact that the new hospital in Ystrad Fawr, Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr (YYF) is operating without an A&E, although it was built to have one. There is a real anger over this. The old hospital Caerphilly Miners was very popular. Every time it was threatened with closure in the past, people fought for it and saved it. The Health Authority only managed to close it last year by promising much better facilities in the new hospital. People feel very angry and let down by the new hospital's shortcomings, which go far beyond the issue of the lack of an A&E. For instance, in the past, everyone in the area was born in the Miners Hospital. Now many people are refusing to give birth at the new hospital, because the maternity unit doesn't have doctor cover.
TUSC is campaigning for a 24-hour doctor led casualty centre at YYF. Many nurses have told us how strongly they support the campaign. So far, only two people in all of Penyrheol and Trecenydd have refused to sign the petition - both for personal reasons, not because they didn't agree with it. We know this level of support won't translate into votes, but it is clear that we can build a base in the area as a first step towards developing a working class voice on Caerphilly Council.