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Friday, April 26, 2013

Hospital closure referred to older people's czar

Campaigners have condemned a “reckless” hospital closure which they say will endanger patients’ lives in the Llangollen area.

The group fighting to retain hospital beds and improve health services in Llangollen and the Dee Valley are so concerned about the situation that they have called on the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales to hold an investigation into the Health Board’s decision to close Llangollen Hospital.
They say that they fear for the well-being of elderly patients in the area.
Keep Llangollen Health Services have contacted the office of Sarah Rochira, the Commissioner for Older People, urging her to look into the “reckless” decision by the health Board.
Mabon ap Gwynfor, of Keep Llangollen Health Services said: “I recently spoke to a care home professional who said that it was his opinion that the closure of Llangollen Hospital would endanger people's lives.
“He explained that elderly people who needed medical care had no issues with going to a Cottage Hospital, but were reluctant to go to general hospitals because of the risks of contracting hospital-acquired infections, such as C-difficile and MRSA.
“Unfortunately his concerns stack up.”
Mabon ap Gwynfor referred to a paper published in the British Medical Journal, which is quoted by the respected Dr Fosters Hospital Guide, which says “Risks (such as hospital acquired infections) are discernible when average bed occupancy rates exceed about 85%”.
"Last year both Wrexham Maelor and Ysbyty Glan Clwyd had bed occupancy levels reaching 87%.
“The NHS is at crisis point in Wales with A&E in meltdown, ambulances queuing 10 deep, and bed-blocking because there aren’t enough community beds available. The Health Board have compounded this with their reckless decision to close Llangollen Hospital with the loss of 18 beds.

“Elderly and vulnerable patients are especially put at risk because of the closure of the hospital. That is why we have called on the Commissioner for Older people to hold an inquiry into the health Board’s decision.”
The Campaign group are urging people to share their stories with them by emailing

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