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Friday, February 15, 2013

Minister tweets big no to shake-up intervention

Wales’ Health Minister Lesley Griffiths has categorically ruled out intervening in controversial plans for a major shake-up of services in the region, which include the axing of Llangollen Cottage Hospital.

Watchdog body the Community Health Council is currently considering whether to lodge a formal objection to the proposals by the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB).

But a number of groups and individuals have urged Ms Griffiths (pictured below) to intervene now and halt some parts of the package which they oppose.

However, on Twitter earlier today (Friday) the Minister posted three consecutive messages in which she stresses that this will not happen.

The tweets say:

SERVICE CHANGE PLANS: It’s vital people understand the current process to determine what changes take place in the NHS in the future 1/3

SERVICE CHANGE PLANS: After local health boards share their service change plans, CHCs have 6 weeks to review those proposals 2/3

SERVICE CHANGE PLANS: As Health Minister, I cannot and will not intervene during this time 3/3

Her stark refusal to make an early intervention follows news reported on llanblogger this morning that the minor injuries unit at Llangollen Hospital is to close and be transferred to the town’s health centre in the week commencing March 3.

It is believed there has been no formal announcement of the move other than as a footnote to a press release posted on the board’s website earlier this week.

This has brought strong criticism from the campaign group Keep Llangollen Health Services, whose spokesman said the board was treating local service users with “complete contempt.”

Mike Edwards, chair of Keep Llangollen Special, who earlier this week wrote to Lesley Griffiths asking her to call in the change proposals, said the situation had now reached the stage where it would be impossible for the change proposals to be undone.

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