AN MS has criticised the Welsh Government for "neglecting patients" after the new North Denbighshire Community Hospital in Rhyl failed to materialise.

The Welsh Government revealed back in 2013 that a new hospital would be built in Rhyl, on the former Royal Alexandra site, to serve North Denbighshire. Work was expected to start about December 2021 but there has still not been a spade in the ground.

Services at the proposed new hospital, which will be built next to the existing Royal Alexandra Hospital, will include community beds, a same-day minor injuries and illness service, a treatment zone, and outpatient therapy and IV therapy services.

Sexual health, community dental, radiology, adult psychology, older people’s mental health, and child and adolescent mental health services will also be provided from the site.

Responding to yesterday's statement by the health minister on NHS Winter Pressures, Mr Millar condemned the Welsh Government for not investing in North Wales.

He said: “When will North Denbighshire get its promised community hospital? We saw beds axed in Rhyl, in Prestatyn, in St Asaph and in nearby Denbigh - scores of beds. And, as a result of losses, there is now extra pressure on Ysbyty Glan Clwyd. That is a fact.

“You say that you don't have the capital to be able to invest and that there have been rising costs on the North Denbighshire project. Now, I've checked the figures. Within the period that you announced that you would deliver our new hospital, which was back in 2013, you did build a hospital, but you built one in south Wales, the Grange Hospital, the cost of which was £360 million. It's original budget was £172 million. So, a massive additional cost of £188 million.

“Now, I do not begrudge the delivery of that hospital for the people that it serves in Gwent; it's an important investment. But where is the investment in North Wales? You've closed hospital after hospital after hospital, and we still haven't seen our hospital. It's current estimated cost is £64 million - that's a fraction of the investment that you've spent in the south. When will we see our hospital in order that we can deliver the sorts of improvements in access to care that people in North Denbighshire require?”


In her response, the minister failed to answer Mr Millar's question.

In November 2019, Kier was appointed to manage all aspects of the construction and planning of the development which is set to cost more than £60million. 

In 2021, Dr James Davies, MP for Vale of Clwyd, was informed by Jo Whitehead, former chief executive of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB), that work was set to begin on the hospital no later than December 3 2021, subject to capital funding being released by the Welsh Government.

Mr Millar added: “The people of North Wales are sick of waiting. They are sick of not receiving the service they should be because Ysbyty Glan Clwyd is so overstretched. And they are sick of hearing of money being invested in south Wales when they are unable to access the services they need here.

“I’ve said it time and time again, this hospital is desperately needed in North Denbighshire and I will continue pushing until the promises made by the Welsh Government almost 10 years ago are fulfilled.” 

Gareth Davies, MS for Vale of Clwyd, said: “For almost a decade we’ve been promised a Community Hospital in Rhyl, which is designed to take pressures off A&E services at Glan Clwyd Hospital and treat the 'walking wounded'. It frustrates me to no limit that local people still haven’t seen any development or any tangible evidence that the Welsh Government are delivering on their promises to negate hospital waiting times in the local area.

“People of Rhyl, Prestatyn and surrounding areas deserve better, and I will continue to campaign for progress on the hospital to the health minister.”

Welsh Government spokesperson said: “We are awaiting for an update on work being undertaken by the health board following a meeting between the Health Minister and partners.”