Calls to open community hospitals beds

llangollen lobbyA Welsh Government report published today showed that Wales has the lowest number of beds for patients with acute life threatening illnesses in Europe.

The report, written for Welsh Ministers, noted that Wales has 3.2 critical care beds per 100,000 people, compared to four in England and a European average of 11.

Mabon ap Gwynfor of the North Wales Health Alliance, who have been campaigning against community hospital closures, said:

“This goes to show the folly of the decision by our health boards, under the guidance of the Welsh Government, to close our community hospitals. The closure of Llangollen, Flint, Prestatyn and Ffestiniog Community Hospitals have placed undue pressures on Wrexham Maelor and the other District General Hospitals. Consequently we have seen patients having vital operations cancelled, and some waiting for hours in ambulances.

“We understand that the there are serious budgetary constraints, and that health managers are trying to save money but closing our community hospitals is a false economy. Saving money on a spread-sheet has meant that some people have had to pay dearly with a poor quality of life and in some cases untimely deaths.

“This report should be a wake up call. It is now time for the Minister to look again at the health boards’ hospital closure programme and consider investing in community beds, which will save money in the long term but more importantly will also help save lives.”

Original story on the BBC: