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Friday, August 31, 2012

Watchdog will help air your views on health shake-up

* Pat Billingham.

The health service watchdog for North Wales says it is determined to help as many people as possible make their views known about the Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board’s proposals for changes in services.

And that includes people in Llangollen with opposing views over the closure of the Cottage Hospital and its replacement with a new health centre, possibly on the site of the derelict River Lodge.

The Community Health Council has pledged to use its network of contacts, and its statutory powers, to make sure local people know what is proposed for their services, say what they think, and affect the health board’s final decisions.

Pat Billingham, the CHC’s chief officer, said: “Our work began several weeks ago when we pressed the health board to make sure that its consultation document was easy to read and understand, and that it offered people many and different ways of making their views known.

“Now we are ready to hear from people who would prefer to speak to us, as an independent organisation, about the effect of the proposals for them – wherever they live.

“We are using our network of contacts to help us get in touch with as many people as possible.

“We will also provide information about the proposals to anyone who contacts us.”

She added: “Towards the end of the consultation period, we will make a formal response to the board’s proposals, based on what people have told us about the effect they will have.

“We will say whether we believe that the proposed changes are in the interests of local people and the health service.

“The board has to consider what we have to say and reply. If we are not satisfied with what they say we can lodge a formal objection with the Minister of Health.”

CHC chair Christine Evans, said: “The CHC’s powers are set out in legislation and Welsh Government guidance.

“We can - indeed, must - object to proposals for change if we think that the consultation process has been inadequate or if we believe that the risks raised by the changes outweigh the benefits and are not in the interests of people who use services. We will check on the consultation every step of the way.” 

To contact the CHC:
Denbighshire/Flintshire/Wrexham Locality Office:
Cartrefle, Cefn Road, Wrexham, LL13 9NH
Telephone: 01978 356178
Fax: 01978 346870



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