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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Time to have your say about hospital's future

* Under threat - Llan Cottage Hospital.

The controversial plan to close Llan Cottage Hospital features in a 10-week public consultation exercise just launched by the Betsi Cadwaldr University Health Board.

The consultation document, entitled Healthcare in North Wales is changing 2012, gives people a chance to have their say on the board’s proposals to “improve” health care services across the region.
Key areas for consultation are:
·         Healthcare services where you live (Localities and Community services)
·         Older People Mental Health services
·         Neonatal Intensive Care
·         Vascular and Major Arterial surgery
Over the last three years, GPs, hospital doctors, nurses and other health professionals have worked together to consider how they could make healthcare services better for the people of North Wales.
Many people with an interest in the NHS have been involved such as patients, service users, carers, volunteers, community groups, local authorities and many others.
They have told the health board what they value – being treated with dignity and respect, having information that helps them to make a choice, and not being ‘bounced’ around the NHS and social care when they or their families are most vulnerable. This dialogue and engagement has led to the proposals in the consultation document.
Board chief executive Mary Burrows said: “The health board is clear that we cannot afford to stand still.
“The status quo is not an option. The proposals we are now making are intended to change the way in which services are provided and where they are provided to meet quality standards.
“Our aim is to improve health, not just extend life. We believe that services should be close to where people live whenever it is safe and appropriate. When more specialist care is needed, hospitals must be centres of excellence so the best possible care is available when needed and from the right people.
“The proposals will allow us to attract and retain the professional clinical staff we need and control our costs when public finances are decreasing.”
The consultation exercise runs until 28th October, 2012.

The health board will also take account of the views of the Community Health Council and any views they have heard. If the board decides to go ahead with proposals, changes will start in early 2013 with the aim of finishing the changes by 2015.
More information and the Consultation document is available:-
·         online at
·         by emailing
·         by calling Freephone 0800 678 5297.
A large print version or other formats or languages are available on request from Freephone 0800 678 5297 or email at
You can also give your comments to the Community Health Council, your independent NHS Watchdog. You can give your views in confidence at or by telephone on 01248 679284.
Consultation Events
The health board will be holding a series of public meetings during the consultation period. This will be an opportunity for you to join the debate in person.
To book a place, please call Freephone 0800 678 5297.
Sessions are scheduled to start at 2pm, at 4pm and at 6pm.
One will take place at Llan Town Hall on Wednesday, 26 September and another will be held at Chirk Parish Hall on Wednesday, September 12.
Proposals for Llangollen
The health board says in a report:
“The ability of the health service, Denbighshire County Council and other agencies to improve services in Llangollen has been limited by existing health and social care facilities and the lack of suitable, accessible sites for a new development that would bring services together.

The existing Llangollen Community Hospital has
  • 18 inpatient beds (10 are currently in use)
  • Minor injuries unit from 8.30am – 6.00pm Monday – Friday (currently closing at 3.30pm for a temporary period) - average attendance less than 1 patient per day
  • Therapies services including occupational therapy, physiotherapy and chiropody, phlebotomy (blood tests) and dressings
There have been a number of reviews of services and the estate in Llangollen. The most recent work has recommended that the way forward should be a shared development which brings together primary, community, social care and voluntary sector services, in an extended primary care centre.
A wide range of services could be provided from the centre such as GP services and other healthcare, therapies and mental health care services and social care. An initial assessment has identified the River Lodge site as the preferred site for this development subject to availability and completion of detailed work through the business case process should our proposals be accepted.”
The needs of many of the patients who are currently admitted to Llangollen Hospital will be met through the new Enhanced Care at Home service, which is being developed in south Denbighshire and south Wrexham. Some people would still need care in a community-based bed and we are proposing that this would be provided through 24 hour care at home, local care homes supported by health staff, or using beds at Chirk Community Hospital.
Proposals already discussed in this document:
  • We will develop the enhanced care at home service to help people stay at home rather than needing a hospital admission, where this is safe and appropriate to do so. This service could be in place by 2013
  • Minor injuries services may be provided by GPs
Additional proposals for Llangollen:
  • Where care in a community-based bed is needed, this should be provided from local care homes or from Chirk Community Hospital. Chirk is seven miles from Llangollen
  • The current Llangollen Community Hospital would close
  • The GP surgery would move to the new premises
In order to develop the new extended primary care centre we would submit a business case to Welsh Government. We anticipate the buildings investment would be in the region of £5.5M. This would help secure community based services for the local population.

This development could be completed by 2015, if the business case is approved and capital funding is made available by Welsh Government.

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