Saturday, April 14, 2007

Ensuring the future of Llandudno Hospital

Took a break yesterday from canvassing to launched our North Wales election health campaign to save the NHS from Labour's health cuts.

We have made the National Health Service their top priority in the Assembly election campaign and I am personally committed not only to stopping Labour's plans for the downgrading of Llandudno Hospital but to examine how more services can be attracted to the region.

During the last few weeks, I have had the privilege of talking to many people on the doorsteps of Aberconwy and it is clear that they remain concerned over the future of Llandudno Hospital. Like me, they want to see a hospital that serves the needs of local residents and not the whims of politicians and civil servants”

The Hospital Action Group has done a wonderful job to date but I believe that after the election, it is time for them to move away from merely defending current hospital services and to develop an action plan that will call for more services to be based at Llandudno Hospital. Certainly, if the local NHS Trust is happy to increase its non-medical wage bill by over £7 million in three years, then it should certainly examine how some of this money that is currently wasted on bureaucracy could be channelled into attracting new world class services at Llandudno.”

I believe now is the time for putting the case forward to ensuring that Llandudno has a fully functioning local hospital with services available that reflect the needs of local people. Too often, we have had managers making decisions to please their masters in Cardiff Bay rather than the needs of local people. It is scandalous that the coronary care unit is currently down to three beds despite indications that there will be an increase for its use during the next few years. Similarly, how can a major resort like Llandudno – which has 12 per cent of all the holiday accommodation in Wales – not have hospital facilities such as accident and emergency services?

Conwy, with the highest proportion of people over 75 in Wales, also needs to have an upgrading of its geriatrics unit. We also need to ensure that we create a centre of excellence for breast care which amalgamates Breast test Wales and the Breast Surgical Unit to form a nucleus of expertise at Llandudno Hospital.

It is clear that what we need to put together a detailed and fully costed plan for a hospital fit for the 21st century needs of the people of Aberconwy. I hope that the Hospital Action group, along with other bodies such as the League of Friends and the Conwy CHC, will join the Conservatives in ensuring a proper dialogue with local people and clinicians about the future of local NHS services and ensure that Llandudno Hospital continues to be a beacon of hope for people across the area.

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