North West Wales

Colwyn Bay hospital minor injuries unit closure opposed

A plan to close the minor injuries unit at Colwyn Bay hospital has been being opposed by some Conwy councillors.

They say it would be a "huge blow" to a town with a large population of elderly and disabled people.

The closure forms part the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board restructuring plan.

A spokesman said it would lead to more reliable services for a greater number of local people.

Minor injuries services at Ffestiniog Memorial Hospital, Ruthin, Llangollen, Flint, Mold and Chirk Hospitals are also set to close.

"These proposals would be a huge blow to our area," said Cheryl Carlisle, the Carers Champion for Conwy.

"We are the second largest town in north Wales and we have a large population of elderly and disabled people, and a lot of families on low incomes."

The proposed closure would hit those who need "most protecting and who are the most vulnerable to any loss of health provision," she added.

Another member of the campaign group, councillor Phil Edwards, said he did not think the closure would work as it could cause bottleneck at Glan Clwyd and Llandudno hospitals "which are already extremely busy".

"Having looked at the proposals carefully and listened to the arguments, the proposals simply do not stack up.

"The service would not improve and very little savings if any would be achieved," he added.

A health board spokesman said that currently minor injuries services are open at different hours and are sometimes used very differently.

"Our proposal is to close the MIU in Colwyn Bay and re-locate to Llandudno in order to concentrate the skilled nurse workforce in the hospital hubs.

"This will mean that services are more reliable for a greater number of local people," he said.

He added an emergency nurse practitioner in a minor injuries unit has the capacity to see around 2,500 patients a year.

"Colwyn Bay MIU is used by about eight to nine people a day. To staff this unit there needs to be a core team of experienced nurses and we can use this important resource to support more people if we concentrate on fewer sites."

Conwy councillors will present a formal response to the health board proposals at the end of the month.

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