1. ITV Report

Protest and petition over hospital 'downgrade' proposals

Protesters are against the downgrading of the emergency department at Prince Philip Hospital Photo: ITV News Wales

Hundreds of campaigners fighting against proposals to downgrade the emergency department at a west Wales hospital will gather outside the Senedd today.

They are protesting against cutbacks to Llanelli's Prince Philip Hospital and will be calling for services to be retained.

Organisers from the Save Our Services Prince Philip Action Network (SOSPPAN) said they are expecting that up to 500 people will travel to Cardiff Bay to watch a petition being handed in. It contains 20,000 signatures.

There have already been protests over what critics say is planned 'downgrading' of local hospitals Credit: ITV News Wales

No decisions have been made and the Health Board has been clear that any changes proposed would need to be safe and sustainable to be able to demonstrate improved outcomes for patients.

– Hywel Dda Health Board spokesperson

The petition will be formally received by Joyce Watson AM, member of the National Assembly for Wales's Petitions Committee.

Hywel Dda Health Board said it "has encouraged all staff, stakeholder groups and members of the public to express their views as part of the listening and engagement exercise, which closed at the end of April. Those views formally fedback as part of the process will be considered when shaping the options that go forward for formal consultation later in the year."

The protesters will be travelling to Cardiff in a fleet of ten buses and accompanied by the Llanelli Male Voice Choir. They are gathering outside the Senedd at 11 o'clock and submitting the petition at lunchtime.