AM challenges health chiefs over closure of community hospital
HEALTH chiefs have been challenged over the closure of Maesteg Community Hospital.
In January local AM Suzy Davies said she was told the hospital was closed temporarily due to staffing shortages on one ward and that staff had been diverted.
She added that it was due to reopen in April after maintenance work to remove asbestos and install WiFi.
But Mrs Davies now says she has heard reports the day hospital remains closed and that “staff are being told that a public engagement is to be held over its future”.
She said: “I am shocked to hear that the day hospital has not re-opened because Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University (AMBU) Health Board chairman Andrew Davies stated in his letter to me on January 29 that the day hospital would definitely re-open.
“He actually said that he could re-assure me and my constituents that this would take place.
“I now understand that the consultant in charge of the day hospital and the nurse practitioner there have been let go and this is being used as a reason for not re-opening.
“I have written to Mr Davies to point out that it was staffing problems on Llynfi Ward that caused the unit to close last November – not in the day hospital itself.
“To now hear that staff who are crucial to the reopening of the unit are no longer available is extremely annoying.
“Why were these people not retained by the board? It was known that they would be needed when the day hospital re-opened so what efforts were made to retain them? Is the health board just using this as an excuse to keep the unit closed?”
The AM urged residents to contact the health board and Community Health Council to voice their opinions.
Mrs Davies said: “I know that the people of Maesteg value their hospital which was built by the miners and opened during the First World War. There will be a great deal of anger in the community at this news.”
The health board said the hospital remains closed while they review the situation.
An AMBU Health Board spokesman said: “As stated previously, the health board fully intended reopening the Maesteg Day Hospital earlier this year.
“It was initially delayed while WiFi to modernise the hospital was installed, which took longer than anticipated due to the age of the building.
“It is incorrect to say that the consultant and nurse practitioner were then let go. Both have made their own decisions regarding their careers.
“While the day hospital has been closed, new referrals have been seen by a newly-expanded Community Resource Team and in Pendre Day Unit in Princess of Wales Hospital.
“There have been no issues reported and there has been minimum impact on those services.
“Indeed, in the last five months there have been 30 referrals of patients from the Maesteg area.
“Some of these would have been referred to Princess of Wales Hospital anyway as they would have needed a more comprehensive service.
“The Maesteg Day Hospital remains temporarily closed while the health board reviews what model of service best suits the needs of the people of the area.”
Maesteg Community Hospital
AM Suzy Davies