With the Outline Business Case for the new Cardigan Hospital development due to be submitted at the end of July, Elin Jones, local Plaid Cymru AM for Ceredigion, has written to the Health Minister to express her concerns at the public consultation that Hywel Dda Health Board has undertaken.
The Ceredigion Assembly Member is worried that, in developing plans for the new project, the Health Board has been determined to push ahead with its proposal for a health centre without in-patient beds. This goes against the petition, organised by the Hospital League of Friends and Cardigan Town Council, which was signed by 11,000 people, calling for the new facility to have beds.
There is particular concern over the ‘options appraisal workshop’ held on 3 June, where 12 members of Hywel Dda Board management were allowed to vote on the different schemes, and only three community representatives were present.
Elin Jones said,
“I’ve written to the Minister outlining my concerns, as he should be under no illusions that ‘Option 3’ – a new health centre without beds – is the unanimous choice of the community.
“I’m worried about the way the workshop meeting on 3 June was dominated by members of the Health Board management, who could easily outvote the few other representatives who were present. The outcome of this workshop has been presented in Hywel Dda press releases as the popular choice of the community, whereas in reality this is far from being the case.
“People in Cardigan deserve to have their views heard, and fully considered by the Minister. There are understandable concerns about outsourcing bed provision to the community in an area such as this, and we shouldn’t be railroaded by a flawed consultation process.”