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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 January 2006, 15:27 GMT
10,000 sign health cuts petition
Petition handed over
The petition was handed over to the local health board before their meeting
More than 10,000 people have signed a petition to oppose cuts threatened at two Ceredigion hospitals.

There are fears financial problems may force the closure of Tregaron hospital and cut services at Cardigan.

The petition was handed to the Ceredigion Local Health Board (LHB) ahead of a board meeting on Wednesday.

Ceredigion and Mid Wales NHS Trust and the LHB said no decision had been taken but they were looking at options for saving money.

A protest and a public meeting were held about the issue in Tregaron in November.

Back in November, local Plaid Cymru AM Elin Jones claimed Ceredigion and Mid Wales NHS Trust faced a shortfall of 1.1m which threatened services.

Protesters against hospital cuts
It is imperative now that the local health board and NHS trust respond to this petition
Elin Jones AM

Receiving the petition in Lampeter, LHB chair Mary Griffiths reassured campaigners, who had travelled from Tregaron and Cardigan, that no decision would be taken until a full consultation period had been held.

She added that the future of the hospitals would not be discussed at Wednesday's meeting. However, a deputation of six people from the two areas was allowed into the meeting.

Speaking ahead of the LHB meeting, Ceredigion AM Ms Jones said: "The people of Ceredigion, over 10,000 in all, have clearly voiced their opinion to oppose any cuts made in patient services at Tregaron and Cardigan.

"It is imperative now that the local health board and NHS trust respond to this petition and confirm to the concerned people of Ceredigion that there are no plans to downgrade or close Tregaron and Cardigan community hospitals."

The LHB spokeswoman said of the petition: "The LHB is encouraged by the people's interest in local health services locally and as always welcomes contributions towards shaping health services locally."

Tregaron Hospital, which has 29 inpatient beds, provides nursing, rehabilitation, recuperation and palliative care and a range of community nursing services.

Cardigan Hospital has 25 beds and provides acute nursing care, rehabilitation and palliative care and also has a minor injury unit.




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