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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Major NHS reform goes ahead elsewhere in Wales

Welsh Conservatives have condemned a decision to push ahead with major NHS reform in mid and west Wales.
 
They say that in a Hywel Dda health board meeting today (Tuesday), proposals to downgrade services, cut bed numbers, close minor injury units and make significant changes to paediatrics were rubber-stamped.
 
The decisions follow significant opposition to the plans in a statutory consultation and previous assurances from the Health Minister that no hospital would be downgraded.
 
On Friday, members of the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board will consider plans for a major shake-up of services in north Wales - including the closure of Llangollen Cottage Hospital and its replacenment with a new haelth centre in the town.
 
Meanwhile, the public engagement process on health changes in the Hywel Dda area has been questioned by Welsh Conservatives.
 
Shadow Minister for Health, Darren Millar AM, said: “These unwanted plans have been steamrollered through despite strong opposition across the region.
 
“An axe has fallen on community services and beds, patients will be forced to travel further for treatment, and the health minister’s promises on hospital downgrading now stand shamefully broken.
 
“I urge her to condemn these decisions and face up to the fact that Labour’s record-breaking budget cuts have forced this reform agenda.

“The consultation – which included deep-seated disagreement with these plans – appears to have been disregarded by NHS management and the entire public engagement process called into question.”
 
Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire Assembly Member Angela Burns said: “Following many months of constant worry, the worst fears of thousands have come true.
 
“The consultation has been thrown to the dogs and one final chance to use some common sense has been ignored."

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