Hospital closure plans branded a 'whitewash'


Matt Jones

PRESTATYN Community Hospital will close after controversial plans were approved by health bosses.

Campaigners have described the move by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board as a “whitewash”.

Services at the hospital, known as Chatsworth House, will be transferred to a new 30-bed community hospital to be built on the site of the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Rhyl.

Until it is built inpatient services will be moved to Holywell Community Hospital with other services relocated to the Royal Alexandra.

Veronica Wells, of Prestatyn Hospital League of Friends, said: “It is a whitewash.

“We need to make sure beds aren’t closed until the new service is rolled out.

“There are a lot of people in Prestatyn who are disappointed with this decision.

This consultation was a waste of time they could have spent this money on something more worthwhile.

“Somebody has to protest about this.

“If you are a member of staff who lives in Prestatyn and has children at school in Prestatyn and you are moved somewhere else, what are you going to do?”

Campaigners in Prestatyn submitted 418 open questionnaire responses against the closure, the most from any town in the consultation, and 22 per cent of the total submission of questionnaires.

AM Ann Jones said: “Constituents who attended the public meeting I chaired in Prestatyn made clear their opposition to the closing of Chatsworth, a vital community based facility.

“Many residents will rightly be concerned at the health board’s decision.

“The announcement of a new facility in Rhyl is to be welcomed; bringing vital services together at a site that is accessible for residents.

“The health board have indicated, however, that Chatsworth will close, and that it will close before the new facility in Rhyl is operational. This does not make clinical sense and would be unacceptable; I would urge the board to ensure that those beds currently being delivered by Chatsworth are not lost in the interim.”

The plans were rubber stamped at a health board meeting last week.

A spokesman for the health board said: “A formal business case is being developed to be submitted to the Welsh Government for the provision of a new hospital on the current Royal Alexandra site which replaces and enhances services provided from both hospitals.”

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