MS meets with Betsi chief after raising concerns about Llandudno General Hospital being underutilised

AN MS met with the chief executive of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) to discuss the “potential” of Llandudno General Hospital.

Janet Finch-Saunders, MS for Aberconwy, undertook a site meeting with Jo Whitehead after discovering that no patients had been seen at the Ambulatory Care Unit (ACU) since 2021.

She also feels that delayed hospital discharged could be partially alleviated at the three district general hospitals in North Wales if patients were transferred to community hospitals such as Llandudno.

BCUHB recently revealed that Llandudno Hospital has adopted a winter initiative to help ease bed pressures at other sites.

Mrs Finch-Saunders said: “Having set about a chain of interventions to acknowledge and combat the local belief that the excellent healthcare facilities at Llandudno Hospital are being firmly underutilised, I was pleased to meet with Jo Whitehead at this site to make clear my belief that this centrally situated establishment can help to relieve the strain on other sites in the region.

“My hope is that the recent creation of a transition ward here in Llandudno will now form part of a broader reversal trend against the centralising services in the three district general hospitals.

“Importantly, Llandudno Hospital continues to host the only bone centre in North Wales and there are no plans to move or reduce this service. I now wish to see the health board build on this commitment by reviewing the list of responsibilities for the Minor Injury Unit to determine whether it can offer greater assistance and around the clock care.

“With Llandudno MIU already performing excellently, the hospital has great potential.

“Going forward, I urge the health board to review whether such transition wards can be created at Abergele, Colwyn Bay, Denbigh, Royal Alexandra, Ruthin, Deeside, Chirk, Holywell, Mold, Pwllheli, Dolgellau, Stanley, Alltwen, Llangefni, Caernarfon, and Tywyn, and for the MIU opening times at Llandudno to be urgently changed so that the Unit is open 24/7”.

Mrs Finch-Saunders has arranged a meeting with the Llandudno Hospital Action Group (LHAG) in January 2022.

The ACU at Llandudno Hospital closed at the start of the pandemic to ensure there was a sufficient number of staff to care for patients on the wards and to support the development of Ysbyty Enfys Llandudno (Llandudno Rainbow Hospital).

“While the ACU was a valued service, the numbers of patients we saw coming through the unit were low,” Bethan Jones, central area director for BCUHB, commented.

“We are now reviewing how the unit will work alongside other changes to how we manage the care of our frail patients as part of a joined-up model across North Wales.”

BCUHB did not wish to issue a comment following Mrs Finch-Saunders’s latest visit.

North Wales Pioneer | Llandudno