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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Mike Edwards speaks out on health shake-up plans

Mike Edwards, chair of Keep Llangollen Special, (pictured below) has made the following statement about the briefing meeting he attended last Wednesday by the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board at Llan Town Hall about its proposals to shake up health services across region.

These include the closure of Llan Cottage Hospital and its replacement with a new primary health care centre.

He said: "I attended the consultation meeting yesterday at the Town Hall along with our Vice Chair, Phil Jones and our Secretary Jude Williams. Martin Crumpton and Councillor Phil Thane attended a later meetings and will report separately.

The meeting was very well controlled and time limited by BCUHB who as one would expect had many bodies present! There were many clever words and phrases used by the officials who used a great deal of techno health speak and gave very little specific information about their proposals. However what is crystal clear as far as Llangollen is concerned is that the existing Community Hospital will close and a proposed Multi function Health Centre will be provided in 2015 SUBJECT to the Health Board securing funding and Welsh Government approving a business case for the acquisition of the former River Lodge(Woodlands Hotel) site. In the intervening period services will be transferred to the existing GP Health Centre, but these proposals are under discussion with the GP Practice because of limited space at the Regent Street premises.

There is grave concern among residents that the Hospital will close in early 2013 which has been confirmed by a letter from Mary Burrows Chief Executive of the Health Board to our AM and that the proposed new Health Facility will never actually appear. It is clear that BCUHB intend to sell the existing Hospital along with Oakleigh higher up Abbey Road to produce much needed funds.

What is not clear is whether these monies will be retained in Llangollen for future health service investment. Arthur Hardy Chair of the Hospital League of Friends expressed concern that money his organisation at invested in the hospital would also be lost.

In the meantime patients and their family support network will have to travel to Chirk and Wrexham to receive treatment since in future their will be no in-patient beds in Llangollen.

Residents can make their views known to the Health Board in forms which were handed out at the meeting or they can write to Mary Burrows Ysbyty Gwynedd, Penrhosgarnedd, Bangor, Gwynedd, LL57 2PW or email Mary.burrows@wales.nhs.uk"

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