Llangollen health centre plans get £5m funding
Plans for a new £5m health centre in Llangollen will go ahead, funded by the Welsh government.
Health Minister Mark Drakeford's announcement comes a year after campaigners lost their fight to save the Denbighshire town's former community hospital from closure.
He says it will allow more health services to be provided locally.
But the campaigners say the new health centre will lack the beds formerly available at the community hospital.
The new centre is set to be built on the site of the derelict River Lodge hotel on the outskirts of the town and is expected to be completed by June next year.
End Quote Martin Crumpton Keep Llangollen Special
We're being told that work on the new centre will start next month, yet the health board hasn't finished consulting on its plans to demolish the community hospital”
Keep Llangollen Special group claim it is too far from Llangollen town centre and alongside one of the main approaches to the town, the busy A539.
Group chairman Martin Crumpton wants plans to demolish the former hospital delayed.
He said: "We're being told that work on the new centre will start next month, yet the health board hasn't finished consulting on its plans to demolish the community hospital.
"It doesn't make sense. We need those beds to help take the pressure off Wrexham Maelor Hospital.
"A primary health centre to be built on a dangerous route sounds surreal, absurd, a contradiction is terms.
"All we're asking is for the demolition of our vacant Cottage Hospital be delayed until they solve the problem - in case they can't."
However, health officials say the new centre will be supported by an "enhanced care at home service" which provides care for people who might otherwise need to go into hospital.
It will also be used to provide more services locally, including pain management, community-based heart failure services and diabetic care along with mental health and social services teams as well as nurses and GPs.
Mr Drakeford said: "The new primary care centre will provide an expanded and enhanced service for the people of Llangollen.
"It will bring a number of services together in one place and will be a base for social services.
"Importantly, it will also support the development of an enhanced care at home service, helping more people to be cared for at home and avoiding unnecessary admissions to hospital."
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board drew up the plans.
"We are delighted this important scheme has been given the green light," said health board chairman Dr Peter Higson.
The River Lodge was bought by the Welsh government in 2007, with the intention it would be leased to a martial arts expert but the deal collapsed.