‘Back door’ plans to close Llangollen Community Hospital denied

Reporter:

Phil Robinson

HEALTH chiefs says there are “no secret plans” to shut Llangollen Community Hospital.

The denial by a spokesman for the Betsi Cadwaladr Local Health Board came in response to a claim from Conservative Assembly Candidate for Clwyd South Paul Rogers there are plans to close the hospital, on the town’s Abbey Road, “by the back door”.

Mr Rogers has expressed his concern about the recent halt in admissions to the unit, which the health board said was to ensure patient safety was not compromised as a result of not being able to guarantee staffing levels overnight.

He said: “The admission by the health board that it is having to review many of its services suggests the future is very bleak for Llangollen Community Hospital.

“Services provided at the hospital are important to the community and by suspending admissions at Llangollen they are more or less attempting to close it by the back door without any guarantee of any replacement provision.

“By allowing staffing numbers to be cut and with suspending admissions across
Wales many small hospitals are being run down to inevitable closure.

“This is an attempt to centralise services which is not convenient for people of Llangollen and the surrounding areas who are served by the hospital.

“Llangollen Hospital has served the community for generations, a community which has raised significant amounts of funds to support the hospital for the benefit of the area.

“While I recognise there are financial pressures, cuts to the health service should not be coming from the front line.”

Mr Rogers is now asking residents in the area for their views on the current situation and the future of the hospital.

He has also discussed concerns with Conservative Assembly Member, Darren Millar, who chairs the health, wellbeing and local government committee in the Assembly.

A spokesman for the health board said: “Over the last 12 months Llangollen Hospital has never had more than 10 patients admitted at any one time.

“Unfortunately, in recent weeks the health board has experienced difficulties in guaranteeing safe levels of staffing overnight and as a result admissions to the hospital had to be suspended to ensure that patient safety is not compromised.

“Although difficulties with staffing levels continue, arrangements have been put in place to re-open to limited admissions of up to four patients.

“With the pressures on public finances, the health board is having to review many of its services to ensure they can continue to provide safe and effective care for patients across North Wales.

“We are now working with local GPs, the Welsh Assembly Government and other partners to consider how we can develop primary and community care for the communities of south Clwyd and south Denbighshire.

“Any recommendations that would lead to significant changes in services will be subject to public consultation.

“There aren’t any secret plans to close the hospital.”

Paul Rogers is asking residents who have an opinion about the future of the hospital to write to him at Clwyd South Conservatives, 3 Oak Mews, Llangollen, Denbighshire, LL20 8RP.

See full story in the Leader

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