Please hear what we say

Published date: 08 November 2012 |
Published by: Helen Davies
Read more articles by Helen Davies

Clwyd West AM Darren Millar 

POLITICIANS and residents have appealed to Betsi Cadwaladar Health Board (BCUHB) to consider their concerns about a controversial health shake up carefully.

A consultation about major changes to the way health services in the region are carried out has now closed.

“From the community meetings and the views expressed in communications to my office, it is clear that there is strong local opposition to axing minor injury unit services in Ruthin and Colwyn Bay,” said Clwyd West AM Darren Millar.

"It is essential that the views of the public are listened to by the health board and that the people of North Wales are able to influence decisions about NHS services in their area.”

Amongst the options being discussed in closing Llangollen Community Hospital and shutting the minor injuries unit and x-ray services section at Ruthin Hospital.

The plans have provoked anger from those living in the towns but BCUHB says the changes are needed to save money and improve healthcare.

“The health board is clear that we cannot afford to stand still,” said chief executive Mary Burrows.

“The proposals will allow us to attract and retain the professional clinical staff we need and control our costs when public finances are decreasing.”

If BCUHB decides to go ahead with proposals, changes will start in early 2013 with the aim of finishing the changes by 2015.

An action group set up in Ruthin to fight the plans became frustrated with the length of time it took for them to receive a response from BCUHB.

The group’s chairman, Ruthin councillor Huw Hilditch-Roberts said: “We met with Clwyd West AM Darren Millar who wrote on our behalf to the health minister but has had no response. Then we sent a letter to the CEO of BCUHB and asked for a meeting to discuss our concerns and again had no response, not even an acknowledgement of our letters.

“All we’re asking is for a meeting to discuss and see the evidence that is helping them with their decisions. We want to engage in the consultation with the trust but this is proving difficult because we’re not being acknowledged.”

A spokesman for BCUHB said: “We have provided many opportunities for people to have their say. A substantial amount of consultation related postal correspondence has been received by us. All correspondence is being recorded and views will be fed into the feedback before final decisions are made.

“We can confirm we have received correspondence from the Ruthin Hospital Action Group on 5 October and a response to address issues raised will be sent as soon as possible. In the meantime we apologise for the delay.

“Three well attended meetings have already been held in Ruthin which involved good informative discussion between health board representatives and the local community on the proposals for change at the hospital.”

The Ruthin action group received a response from the board last week.

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