Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Hospital Closures

100s of people travelled from North, South ,East and West Wales to the Senedd at Cardiff yesterday in order to protest at the closures of their community hospitals - I joined them in their protest travelling from Flint to Cardiff. Flint hospital is one of many closures. Holywell Cottage hospital is closing on the 25th November. There has been NO consultation - unlike at Flint concerning the closure at Holywell. The Health Trust is indicating the closures will "pay for itself" - the costs of the move being put at £40,000. Is the truth that it will only pay for itself because of staff cuts? As the x ray facility is going to remain at the Cottage patients needing an x ray are going to have to be transported back to the old Cottage hospital will continue to be split between the two sites. People in Holywell are now aware that the Labour councillor sitting on the LHB did not represent their concerns that the Cottage should remain open until the new hospital was completed, and everyone in Holywell knows that Sandy Mewies may have listened to concerns about the closure of the inpatient facilities - but she has done absolutely nothing about it. Labour have sought to claim all the credit for the new hospital and ignored the fact this was a cross party effort, fought over many many years particularly by Dr Martin Parry.

The pattern of hpspital closures is taking place PRIOR to the new community services being in place. A team of Doctors from Powys Hospital had pushed a hospital bed for 52 miles to bring the point home to Dr Brian Gibbons that his healthcare reforms are badly thought out. The reforms promise to bring patient care closer to home - yet the policy of closing community hospitals runs directly counter to this argument. Was Dr Brian Gibbons there to face the protesters - no he suddenly found a reason to be away from the Assembly not even giving the protesters the courtesy of listening to what they had to say - typical Labour arrogance. And what of Sandy Mewies AM was she there to reflect the concerns of her constituents about the closure of Flint - NO - despite the fact this was a Wales wide protest......