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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 25 February, 2003, 14:33 GMT
Public anger at hospital plan
Cardiff Royal Infirmary
Plans to sell the site are put forward
One of Cardiff's oldest hospitals could be declared surplus to requirements and sold off by a local health authority.

Bro Taf Health Authority have put forward plans, which have been under development for seven years, about the future of the Cardiff Royal Infirmary (CRI).

But local campaigners want to see the site used as a community hospital following a promise made in 1996 by the then-secretary of state for Wales, William Hague.

However, Bro Taf claim that setting up a community hospital is not a viable option because of the cost involved in bringing the site up to modern standards.

A meeting held on Monday night was attended by about 120 people opposing the proposals by the health authority.

We are convinced that the vast majority of people in Cardiff want to see some form of hospital on the site
Dave Bartlett, CRISIS

"We want a commitment made to honour the promises made by William Hague to open some form of hospital on the site," said Dave Bartlett, secretary of Cardiff Royal Infirmary Save Our Services (CRISIS) - a group opposed to the plans.

"The consultation put forward by Bro Taf does not mention any plans to open a hospital on the site or anywhere else whatsoever," he said.

The CRI, which was built in 1884 and is listed as having Grade II status, closed as a district general hospital in 1999, although some out-patient services are still carried out there.

"It seems that they just want to dispose of the two thirds of the leasehold they own," said Mr Bartlett.

"We are convinced that the vast majority of people in Cardiff want to see some form of hospital on the site.

"During the last 10 years, eight hospitals in Cardiff have been closed - losing 1,000 beds in the process.

Simon Jones
Simon Jones: High cost

"We want to see some form of hospital with some form of accident and emergency facility - even if it is just for the walking wounded - to be set up in the CRI," he added.

But Simon Jones, chairman of Bro Taf Health Authority said that it was not financially viable for a community hospital on the site.

"We don't feel this site is appropriate for the agreement of a replacement hospital - a community hospital," he said.

"The main problem is cost - fire and health and safety."

He said that the millions are needed to bring the current site up to standard.

"We are looking at 50m plus to put a modern hospital on the site," he said.

Public consultation into the plans ends on 10 March but a final decision could take months.

The University of Wales College of Medicine has expressed an interest in taking over the CRI site.


SEE ALSO:
Support for threatened hospital
14 Jan 03 |  England


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