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Saturday, 20 May, 2000, 12:56 GMT 13:56 UK
New plan will mean hospital closures
Wrexham Maelor Hospital
A new unit is planned for Wrexham Maelor Hospital
Three hospitals for the elderly in north east Wales will close if new plans for the care of the elderly in the region are approved next week.

Dobshill, Meadowslea and Trevalyn Hospitals have become increasingly unsuitable for the provision of modern, hospital-based rehabilitation, said health chiefs.

We believe that the creation of these new facilities at Wrexham and Deeside will offer patients the benefit of more convenient and effective services

Elwyn Price-Morris, North Wales Health Authority
Instead, it has proposed that two modern, purpose-built rehabilitation units for older people should be built - one at Wrexham and the other on Deeside.

The writing has been on the wall for the three hospitals for years but supporters have said they are essential in the care of the elderly.

But officials of the North Wales Health Authority and North East Wales Health Trust said that they had drawn up a plan which would strengthen and improve services for the elderly in both Flintshire and Wrexham County.

A 76-bed rehabilitation unit is planned at the Wrexham Maelor Hospital together with a 28-bed unit at Deeside Community Hospital at Queensferry.

Effective and efficient

They will ensure that services are located in the main catchment areas, providing ease of access to patients, their families and carers, officials said.

Siting the new rehabilitation units alongside other on-site hospital services - with more convenient links to social services - will significantly improve patient care and create a more effective and efficient service.

But as a result of the plan Dobshill, Meadowslea and Trevalyn hospitals would be closed because of their location and the standard of accommodation that they can offer.

If the plan is approved on Tuesday, a full public consultation programme will be launched so that people and interested parties can make their views known before a final decision is taken.

Quality service

Public meetings are planned across both counties after formal consultation starts in late June.

Health authority spokesman Elwyn Price-Morris said that Dobshill, Meadowslea and Trevalyn hospitals had provided a quality service to patients over many years.

"However their design, fabric and location prevent them from responding effectively to the standards required for modern rehabilitation," he said.

"We believe that in overall terms, the creation of these new facilities at Wrexham and Deeside will offer patients, their families and carers the benefit of more convenient and effective services."

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