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Saturday, October 13, 2012

Campaigners aim to solve Cottage Hospital problem

* Lllangollen Cottage Hospital is earmarked for closure.
Campaigners say they have come up with a solution which would allow the expansion of health services in Llangollen while still retaining them in the town.

And members of the new Keep Llangollen Health Services KLHS) action group say it will be unveiled at a public meeting on Monday night. 
The group was formed last month to fight a controversial proposal by the Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board to close the local Cottage Hospital and replace it with a new health centre offering an expanded range of services, possibly on the site of the derelict River Lodge just further along the road.
But members fear the new facility will take years to complete and will not include the in-patient beds or minor injuries unit currently offered by the hospital on Abbey Road.
The community hospital, which the health board says is outdated and in need of replacement, also provides a range of vital health services, such blood testing, and campaigners are concerned about whether these will continue to be provided locally during an expected gap of two or three years between it closing and a new centre opening. 

KLHS has called a public meeting for 7pm on Monday (October 15) at The Hand Hotel when local people will be brought up to date on the campaign. 

There will also be speakers and the writing of letters of objection to the health board will be encouraged. 

Ahead of the meeting, one the group’s founder members, Martin Crumpton, said: “The status quo won’t help Llangollen provide the health services we depend upon.  

“The Regent Street Health Centre needs to expand in order to provide more consultation rooms, while we want to retain our beds and minor injuries unit.  

“We’ve already lost the Cottage Hospital’s maternity unit and the top floor has been closed. 

“Betsi Cadwaladr says the hospital isn’t fit for purpose, and many people agree. 

“On the face of it, we’re left with a simple choice of take it or leave it – accept their promise of a new facility or refuse it and keep the status quo. The first, a promise, is one few people here have any confidence in. The second is not satisfactory.” 

He added: “Although there’s much Betsi Cadwaladr hasn’t disclosed to us, we think we’ve worked out what they’re up to.  

“We think we can offer an alternative solution that would keep our services and allow expansion. 

“Indeed, allow new services for Llangollen too, while saving Betsi Cadwaladr money compared to their intended spending.

“Come along to our public meeting on Monday and hear all about it.”

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