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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

You can still have your say on health services, says group


* The closure threatened Cottage Hospital.

People can still have their say on the future of health services in Llangollen even though the health board official consultation exercise ended last Sunday.

That is the message from campaign group Keep Llangollen Health Services (KLHS), which is fighting plans to shut the town’s Cottage Hospital years before its proposed replacement – a health centre possibly on the site of the former River Lodge just up the road - is ready.
The proposal by the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) to shut the hospital was put out to consultation 10 weeks ago and the results of the exercise will now be considered by board members before a final decision is made.
A KLHS group spokesman said: “The Betsi Cadwaladr consultation officially ended on Sunday but there’s little cause to regret missing filing your comments – the questions were loaded to elicit the responses the board wanted anyway.
“For an unbiased survey, which is still available, send your views to the Betsi Cadwaladr Community Health Council, a watchdog with real teeth, and a bite big enough to force the Health Minister to rethink her plans.
“On Facebook, go to https://www.facebook.com/pages/NHS-Watchdog-North-Wales/316390105076750 or on Twitter, https://twitter.com/BetsiCadCHC, or fill in the Survey and express your thoughts online at the BCCHC’s website: http://www.bcchc.org.uk/
The KLHS spokesman says:
· * Betsi Cadwaladr’s consultation survey is biased to get the answers they want
· * They  (BCUHB) claim running costs for our Hospital are too high – but promise a larger replacement with greater running costs
· * Their (BCUHB) estimate of £5.5m to build a replacement health centre will be out of date in four or five years, which is the earliest that can hope to begin a new build – not late 2014/2015
· * They (BCUHB) haven’t developed plans for the River Lodge site
· * They (BCUHB) haven’t obtained funds for the River Lodge sit
· * £5.5m doesn’t cover the cost of the rumoured bridge across the Dee
· * The Dee is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and the bridge will be strongly resisted
· * The access to River Lodge will need widening to comply with planning law – which means compulsory purchase of several buildings, their demolition, and new roadworks
· * The "fiasco" of River Lodge and Powys Fadog may yet go to public inquiry, blocking any developments until the issue is resolved
· * There is still a query over reversion of the hospital site to the Vivod Estate

· * All four AMs, both County Councillors, the Town Council and other AMs are unanimous in opposing closure of the Cottage Hospital until its replacement is available
· * The public is opposed to its closure until its replacement is up and running
· * There are no beds available in the private sector, despite claims to the contrary
· * They (BCUHB) will not allow us to keep our beds – this is non-negotiable, making consultation no more than lip-service
· * They (BCUHB) will not allow us to keep our Minor Injuries Unit, predominantly and regularly used by our children and elderly.
* Unlike every other public body we have contacted since our launch, the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board has consistently ignored all communications from llanblogger, so therefore we are unable to obtain its response to these KLHS claims.

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