REPLACEMENT beds should be re-introduced to Denbigh Infirmary at the earliest possible opportunity, local politicians demanded after meeting health board bosses this week.

Earlier this year 10 beds were removed from a ward in Denbigh Community Hospital because of fire safety concerns in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster.

A safety assessment had highlighted vulnerability in the wooden floor of a first floor ward partially sited above the hospital’s kitchen.

Llyr Gruffydd, Plaid Cymru’s North Wales AM, and local councillors Rhys Thomas and Elfed Williams met Betsi Cadwaladr health board chair, Peter Higson, and other officers, to discuss long-term plans for Denbigh Infirmary, Ruthin Hospital and other local healthcare issues.

Concerns were raised about the future of hospital beds at Denbigh, and in recent weeks Plaid Cymru has highlighted the reduction in the number of beds on the first floor ward being temporarily removed.

The health board is looking at what it needs to do to bring Denbigh Infirmary up to fire regulation standards, and as a consequence it closed a number of beds. The health board is examining options for the hospital following the review.

Plaid Cymru believes reintroducing beds and developing a full rehabilitation service must be a priority.

Llyr Gruffydd AM said: “We want to develop Denbigh as a leading centre for rehabilitation services and want assurances Denbigh has a future and adequate community beds are a part of that future in both Ruthin and Denbigh.

"Health board representatives stated there were no firm proposals. However, I was assured they want to invest in Ruthin Hospital including relocating the Market Street Clinic onto the hospital site.”

Mr Gruffydd said Plaid would now seek the views of the public about what they want.

Cllr Rhys Thomas said: “Latest winter pressures shows the need for hospital beds, and we will keep arguing for that. Denbigh and Ruthin both have important roles to play in ensuring we have the best possible NHS provision"

A spokesperson for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said: “There are still two bays that remain out of use in Denbigh Hospital. We have opened five additional beds in Ruthin which has helped us manage the demand for beds in the area.”