North East Wales

HM Stanley Hospital in St Asaph to close in 2011

HM Stanley Hospital
Image caption The hospital is not fit for purpose, says the health board

A community hospital is to close next year, two years after a reorganisation plan was put on hold.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said HM Stanley Hospital in St Asaph was "no longer fit for purpose" and would be vacated by March 2011.

Eye, stroke and outpatient services would be re-provided elsewhere it said.

In June 2007, campaigners hoped to keep services at the site after then First Minister Rhodri Morgan called a temporary halt to planned NHS changes.

The health board said the closure of the 22-bed hospital and the transfer of its services was recommended in the review, Designed for North Wales in 2007.

Planning director Neil Bradshaw said: "We are now spending a significant amount of money on keeping very poor quality buildings going.

"A project team is being set up to co-ordinate this work, and this will involve appropriate representation from staff and service users."

But retired Prestatyn businessman Michael Hosgood is fighting the plans, claiming the hospital, named after the Victorian explorer Sir Henry Morton Stanley, who was born in Denbigh, was being run down.

He said: "How much it would cost to move all the various departments to other locations has never been properly costed and the figures published, so we are presented with only one side of the argument.

"None of this takes into account the benefit to patients of the quiet location of the St Asaph site.

"I firmly believe that the whole saga of trying to close down the HM Stanley Hospital is to convert the Grade II listed buildings to expensive apartments and the rest of the site to be sold off as building land.

"This would be a disgraceful scandal as the site was gifted to the people of St Asaph for their medical treatment."

Mr Hosgood has put his concerns to Vale of Clwyd Chris Ruane, who is meeting senior health board members to discuss the proposals for HM Stanley and Royal Alexandra Hospital, Rhyl.

Mr Bradshaw said the health board would work with other users of the HM Stanley site, St Kentigern's Hospice and the Wales Ambulance Service, to ensure that their services were maintained.

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