AM challenges health chiefs over clo­sure of com­mu­nity hospi­tal

Glamorgan Gazette - - Your Views -

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.”

PETER BOLTER

Maesteg Com­mu­nity Hospi­tal

AM Suzy Davies

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