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Friday, January 18, 2013

Axe falls on Llan Cottage Hospital

* The Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board has decided to close Llangollen Cottage Hospital.
llanblogger has just received confirmation from an observer at the meeting that the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board his morning approved the closure of Llangollen Cottage Hospital.

The go-ahead to axe the hospital came as part of a package of measures to streamline health services across north Wales.

Our observer said: "Just had confrirmation that neonatal is going to Arrowe Park and all the proposals are going through as per the plans except Mold becomes a hub instead of Deeside.
"With Llangollen they will now submit a proposal for a new health centre to the Welsh Government."
In an immediate reaction, Llyr Gruffydd, Party of Wales AM for North Wales, said: “The decision to move neonatal intensive care services across the border now means there is no Level 3 Special Care Baby Unit north of Carmarthen.

"I fear this decision is putting lives at risk and it is inexplicable that it should be made in the face of clinical advice and opposition from respected professional bodies such as the RCN and BMA.

The very real experiences of parents with babies that have gone through intensive care at our existing excellent SCBUs has also been ignored. I do not believe we were given the full facts regarding Arrowe Park and therefore the entire consultation process and final decision was skewed.
“The same criticism applies to the closure, downgrading and centralisation of community hospitals such as Llangollen, Ruthin and Flint.
GPs and patients alike are rightly sceptical of the promised replacements – where is the money coming from to build new health centres and ensure enhanced home care?
“My party, Plaid Cymru, wants to see an improved health service in the North but this decision will lead to a poorer health service for many communities and takes no regard of the very real transport problems many households have.
“This decision has been made without key questions being answered about finance and the impact on NHS staff.
"That’s why I call on the Community Health Council to now stand up for the people of North Wales – they must make a formal objection so that the Health Minister can intervene.
"If Lesley Griffiths wants to impose this model on North Wales, she shouldn’t be allowed to hide behind health boards who are not ultimately answerable to the people.”

Shadow Minister for Health, Darren Millar AM, said: “This is NHS bosses playing judge, jury and executioner on local healthcare across North Wales.

“Our region has been sentenced to unwanted NHS reform that will mean thousands travelling further for essential care.

“The suits at the top have turned their backs on the views of local people and respected professionals. This is an injustice that makes no sense and won’t be forgotten.

“It is simply not fair to force any patient – particularly families with newborns – to travel many miles for treatment.

“Make no mistake, opposition to these dangerous decisions will continue.

“Labour’s record-breaking NHS budget cuts have driven this reform agenda. The Minister must be honest about this and ensur that she is accountable for today’s injustie.”

North Wales Conservative AM Mark Isherwood said: “This is a sad day for North Wales,.

“There was strong objection to these proposals from the start, but the Health Board refused to attend any open public meetings. They have now blatantly ignored the views of those affected by these changes, dismissing the strong public opposition shown in the wider consultation. We will continue to fight these plans and The Minister must be accountable.
“Whilst I am pleased that Mold Hospital, which was also earmarked for closure, received an eleventh hour reprieve, I am extremely disappointed that Ffestiniog Memorial Hospital, Llangollen, Flint, and Prestatyn are all to close.
“Labour Welsh Government policy and its record breaking cuts of half a billion pounds over three years have driven theses closures and downgrading of services.
"The health managers insist the changes will lead to better care for patients, butreducing community hospital beds and moving services further away from often vulnerable patients will damage, rather than enhance, community based health services."

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