Llangollen hospital closures are being rushed, say campaigners

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CAMPAIGNERS have hit out at moves to stop admitting in-patients to Llangollen Hospital.

The hospital is due to close after Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) announced a shake-up of health services last month.

But the closure to in-patients this week has shocked opponents of the changes, who say proposals are being rushed through.

Campaigner Martin Crumpton said: "When I heard about the proposals being rushed through, my reaction was one of sheer horror.

“I compare it to somebody being given a punishment before they have even been sentenced for a crime.”

BCUHB also announced that minor injuries services will be shutting in both Llangollen and Chirk hospitals within two weeks, moving to the new ‘hub’ at Wrexham Maelor.

The timescale of changes was decided at a meeting of the health board on January 18.

Llangollen councillor Stuart Davies said: “We are still in a response period, and so is the community health council and yet they’re trying to push this through as soon as possible.

“They’re trying to make it a fait accompli.”

Cllr Davies has already threatened to bring a motion of no confidence in BCUHB before Denbighshire Council as, he says, the closure will leave the town without vital services until a new medical centre is built in 2015.

He said he and nine other Denbigh councillors had requested a meeting with BCUHB bosses over the matter.

“We’re trying to stop them doing this immediately,” he said. “If they don’t engage with us fairly then I will be looking to bring a motion of no confidence in BCUHB on February 26 at the full council meeting.

“Some have asked what good that will do, but it will bring pressure to bear on them.”
North Wales Plaid AM Llyr Gruffydd, who campaigned against the proposals, raised the issue in the Senedd.

He asked: “Isn’t it astounding that the health board is implementing its proposed changes before the community health council gives its formal response? Is it acceptable that the health board is riding roughshod over both the CHC and minister and ploughing on with its changes regardless?”

A statement from BCUHB said: “At the moment the community health council is considering its response to our planned changes and we fully respect their position.

“However, we have to balance this with safety of services, our use of resources and our desire to implement the planned service improvements.

“It is right that, where appropriate, we move forward without undue delay.”

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