Inpatients closed at Cardigan Hospital
12:15pm Monday 9th December 2013 in News
CARDIGAN Hospital in-patient beds are being closed - and will remain closed "for the foreseeable future".
Hywel Dda Health Board says it will create new beds at Tregaron Hospital and other locations to ease pressure over the winter.
It blames staffing pressures and health and safety issues at the Cardigan site.
But there is criticism that the Health Board has been letting the hospital services deteriorate over a period of time.
The decision has angered and appalled local AM Elin Jones.
“Closing the hospital beds at Cardigan hospital is an appalling decision by the Health Board. The health service at Cardigan has been depleted over several months by the Health Board. Increasing the number of medical beds at Tregaron hospital will be of little comfort for people in the Cardigan area. Health care and convalescence need to be provided close to home," she said.
"I have no doubt that the public sector financial cuts are the root cause of this decision, as the Health Board is known to be desperately trying to balance its books."
Plans for the new £9m hospital have been in the pipeline for several years, delayed by wrangles over the land at Bath-house.
"I am more determined than ever to see the Health Board commit to a new-build hospital for Cardigan," said Ms Jones.
" The Chair of the Health Board has again confirmed to me that the intention is to have beds at the new facility, to be used as convalescence beds. However, I am keen to pin down the Health Board to a definite timescale for the new hospital. We have completely lost faith in the Health Board to deliver for the medical needs of the people of the Cardigan area. I will be convening a meeting of all local elected representatives with the Health Board at the earliest opportunity to have them account for their decision and their plans for the future.”
Local councillors were also furious.
John Adams Lewis said: "This is bitterly disappointing. We know that there are patients in Aberstywyth desperate to get back to Cardigan."
And Cllr Mark Cole said: "Unbelievable. I can see the health board's way of thinking - if we survive a period of time with no hospital beds in Cardigan the argument will be that there will be no need to provide them in the new facility. We need those beds in Cardigan there is no question about that."