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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Assembly Member backs "save our hospital" fight

llanblogger exclusive

* Llan Cottage Hospital

Breaking news ...                     

Plaid Cymru's North Wales Assembly Member Llyr Gruffydd has backed plans by local residents to hold a referendum about the planned closure of Llangollen Hospital.

He said the proposed closure of the community hospital was a matter of concern and full consultation needed to take place before any final decision was made.

Mr Gruffydd said: "The announcement of community hospital closures across the North, including Llangollen, by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board management has worried many people.

"What we are being presented with here is a stark choice, where local health board managers are saying the only alternative to the status quo is closure.

"We all recognise that the NHS needs to evolve and adapt to changing circumstances, but I'm very concerned that we're being presented with closing a valuable community facility without the alternatives being fully explored and without evidence that people needing care in their community will be able to get that without bed blocking in a district general hospital such as the Maelor.

"That's the fear being expressed locally and also by the British Medical Association's Eamonn Jessup, who said the loss of beds in community hospitals would gridlock the NHS.

"NHS bosses and the Welsh Government's Health Minister Lesley Griffiths have to listen to people's concerns and also provide some comprehensive answers to explain how people unable to stay in community hospitals will be cared for in their homes and by whom."

He welcomed news that Llangollen residents had organised a public meeting on Thursday, August 9, in the Hand Hotel, Llangollen, and also supported their plans to hold a community referendum on the proposed closure.

Mr Gruffydd added: "The Local Government Act 1972 has a provision for a community referendum like this and it's one distinctive way for the town to make its voice heard. I will be pressing to make sure that message is heard by the minister in Cardiff Bay."

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