Operations would not have been cancelled had the Health Board kept community hospital beds open.
That is the view of Dr Phil White, secretary of the North Wales Medical Committee.
On Tuesday the Health Board announced that they would cancel non-emergency operations this week in their three district general hospitals, claiming that increased pressure for urgent care has placed added strain on the hospitals. The Health Board said that many of their patients were elderly and frail which has meant them staying in hospital for longer which has increased calls for hospital beds.
Dr Phil White, speaking on BBC Radio Cymru said that doctors had said that this would happen from the start, and that the Health Board had not listened to their warnings. He added that the Health Board had cut the number of beds but had not put other provisions in place. He said: “This is not something that’s happened over night, we’ve been warning about this for nearly five years because of the fall in the number of available beds”.
His comments were echoed by health campaigners in the Dee Valley.
Mabon ap Gwynfor of Keep Llangollen Health Services said: “This is why we didn’t want to see the Health Board close Llangollen hospital. It’s not because we want to keep out-dated buildings, but because we want to see a first lass health service provided to the people of this area.
“We warned them that closing Llangollen hospital beds would put pressure on Wrexham Maelor. We warned them that added pressure due to community bed closures would result in superbug and Norovirus outbreaks. And we warned them that patients would have to travel further away from their family and friends. This has all happened within less than a year of the hospital’s closure.
“We welcome the development of a much needed new health centre in Llangollen, but not at the expense of losing hospital beds. We continue to call for hospital beds to be included in the new development.”