Cardigan Hospital League of Friends are stepping up their campaign to ensure that the new hospital replacement at Bath-house includes beds.

And they are calling on local residents to give them any incidents where elderly relatives have either been kept in hospital longer than they should have or discharged to care facilities remote from Cardigan.

They also are lobbying health minister Mark Drakeford to intervene and re-instate beds in the plans for the new integrated health facility. Hwyel Dda Health Board closed the inpatient ward at Cardigan Hospital back in February, causing outrage in the local community. More than 11,000 people signed a petition against the closure which was presented to the Welsh Assembly.

League of Friends chairman Eirwyn Harries said: "Beds in the new facility are important. Hywel Dda Health Board have to show a model with beds when they present their business case to the Welsh Assembly so we must put the pressure on to include beds."

He added: "The community need to remind the health minister of the 11,000 people who signed the petition showing beds are important to Cardigan."

He said the League of Friends had evidence of local people being discharged to care beds in South Pembrokeshire far from friends and family.

The League of Friends are also angry that a recent workshop held by Hywel Dda concluded that a new build facility with no beds was the best way forward.

"Attendance at that workshop was calculated - there were 12 Hywel Dda staff and three from the community. It is the Hywel Dda preferred option. Cardigan and district communities have had no input," said Mr Harries.

He also criticised the lack of public involvement with the project.

"In March we were promised that Hywel Dda will continue to engage and involve the Cardigan community with more public engagement activities - three months later, nothing," he said.

A judicial review is currently being held into claims that Hywel Dda did not consult the public over changes affecting patients in West Wales.

A university health board spokesperson said that regular stakeholder meetings were held and two public drop in sessions were being held in Cardigan later this month. She added: “Members of the project’s stakeholder group, local GPs and representatives from the Community Health Council were invited to be a part of an option appraisal process which we hope demonstrates our commitment to ensuring openness and engagement with the local community on this health development.

“We have an exciting opportunity in developing this new and modern service in Cardigan to provide enhanced community services and care closer to home. We have been very open for some time now that as an organisation our focus is on increasing our resources in the community to keep people well and at home, to avoid hospital admission wherever possible or to return people home as soon as possible to reduce the dependency on hospital stays."