A CALL has been made for Chirk Hospital to retain its X-ray facility for patients.

Cllr Ian Roberts has said the machine, recently taken out of service due to its age, was much-needed.

He added: “I would certainly like to see it back here as soon as possible, either the old one refurbished or new equipment installed. It is important for patients.”

A health board spokesman said the service at Chirk Hospital was provided on a part-time basis. As a result the machine had been very lightly used and lasted much longer than it would have done.

The spokesman said: “Because of the machine’s age the manufacturer who supplied the equipment is no longer able to provide the level of maintenance and support we would expect.

“As the regular maintenance and calibration of X-ray equipment is crucial to make sure patients do not receive incorrect doses of X-rays we have had to take the machine out of service.”

“The majority of people who have X-rays at Chirk are not patients in the hospital but are referred there by their GPs, who have now been asked to refer these patients to the Maelor hospital in the interim.

“The health board is bringing together a number of strategies to improve services.

These plans, together with changes in imaging technology, will affect community radiology service provision.”

The health board has received offers of charitable funding to purchase the replacement equipment, and its spokesman stressed it was extremely grateful for the gesture.

He added: “However we, working with the local GPs, need to consider whether like-for-like replacement of the equipment at Chirk is the best investment or most appropriate way to provide the service in the future.”