PROMISES made in the wake of the Llangollen Community Hospital closure are not being delivered, it has been claimed.
The hospital on Abbey Road closed its doors for the final time on March 11 after 137 years of serving the community.
The closure was part of a series of controversial health shake-ups across the region.
During the consultation process for the changes Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) said the hospital would be replaced by a new community health centre and enhanced home care.
They also said beds would be available in both Chirk Hospital and local private nursing homes.
But Plaid Cymru Assembly Member Llyr Gruffydd has accused the health board of making “empty promises” to justify closing community hospitals and has urged new Health Minister Mark Drakeford to call in controversial NHS plans across North Wales.
Speaking in the Senedd Mr Gruffydd said: “We were told the hospital would be replaced by a new community health centre, enhanced home care and beds would be available in both Chirk Hospital and local private nursing homes.
“Now the closure has happened and how much of those alternatives are in place?
“The new community health centre – there is no business case in place, there is no building secured and it will take at least three years to get the consultation, planning and building done. Assuming the promised £5.5 million is still available then.
“Home Enhanced Care Service (HECS) involves more nursing and clinical staff working in the community.
“This is uncosted and there is no additional budget for this.
“An insider has told me there are no staff in place currently and they are having trouble recruiting staff for the HECS.”
Mr Gruffydd said research carried out by his office shows that during most of 2011 and 2012 Chirk hospital was at 98 per cent capacity with no room to take the patients that would usually have gone to Llangollen Hospital.
Information obtained under the Freedom of Information Act also showed Llangollen Hospital was serving at an average of 95 per cent capacity during the same period.
He added his office had spoken to three local nursing homes and all had received no contact from the health board about the proposals.
Mr Gruffydd said: “The care homes made it clear they have no spare capacity and, because they are regulated by a different body than the NHS, would feel very uncomfortable about taking NHS patients needing in-patient care.
“More and more patients from this area will face having to go to Wrexham Maelor, where there are already problems with ambulances backed up outside A&E due to bed blocking.
“This will only make things worse.”
“The hospital at Llangollen has been closed for a week and they are still in the process of gathering basic information, and haven’t even held talks with those that they expect will deliver their services. It’s scandalous.”