There are around eighty thousand people who live in the South Wales borough of Neath Port Talbot. As the name implies this borough comprises two towns Neath and Port Talbot, neither of which is anxious to adopt the name and identity of the other. Although the towns of Neath and Port Talbot are quite close, the local geography makes travelling between them harder than you would expect. For more than fifty years the principle hospital in the area has been located in Neath, and served both towns.
Six or seven years ago £66 million was spent on providing facilities at the hospital, including a ward for elderly rehabilitation services. It has now closed.
Hospital workers fear that it will not be long before the hospital itself closes, as services and operations numbers are slowly scaled down. The nearest hospital facilities are in Brigend, about ten miles to the East or Morriston, ten miles to the West.
If the hospital does close, never mind; there will be many jobs lost and ill people will have to be treated far from home, never mind; those needing emergency treatment will have to travel further and the families and friends whose support is so helpful to a speedy recovery will have to make expensive journeys to see their loved ones.
Never mind; the good folk of Port Talbot are strong and can take comfort in the new forthcoming massively subsidised carbon dioxide injection biomass power station that they will soon enjoy, with all the changes in air quality that will come and perhaps no hospital to treat those affected.
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