[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC News in video and audio
Last Updated: Friday, 15 September 2006, 15:50 GMT 16:50 UK
Hospital cancer service is saved
Hospital protesters
Around 100 people attended protests in the summer
Demonstrators have won their fight to keep breast cancer care services at a north Wales hospital that had been threatened with downgrading.

Campaigners lobbied health chiefs over plans which would affect NHS services across the region.

There was concern over plans to end certain services at Llandudno hospital, and Conwy Local Health Board has now voted to keep the cancer unit there.

But it is likely a coronary care service at Llandudno will be moved.

The meeting is discussing plans to reform hospitals in the area.

It has been recommended that services at Ysbyty Gwynedd, Ysbyty Glan Clwyd and Wrexham Maelor Hospital should be consolidated.

But so far no agreement has been reached by those at the meeting after widespread public concern over the strategy of closing beds at Llandudno, HM Stanley and Abergele hospitals to improve community and primary services.

Opponents say patients will face long journeys and other hospitals will be put under pressure, but officials say change is needed to meet future demand.

How are the other hospitals going to cope with this huge influx of people from Llandudno?
Protester Dorothy Smith

Members of the health board, meeting in Conwy Business Centre near Llandudno Junction, were also discussing proposals to close two smaller health service units, at Abergele and St Asaph.

Changes under consideration are the loss of orthopaedic services at Abergele Hospital, and stroke rehabilitation and ophthalmology services being relocated from HM Stanley at St Asaph.

The report is a result of a four-month public consultation period, based on a vision for health care in north Wales outlined in a document "Designed for North Wales".

Hundreds of people have already demonstrated against the plans and many say they will protest again at the meeting on Friday.

Speaking before the meeting, one of the protesters, Dorothy Smith, who has been treated for breast cancer at Llandudno hospital said: "If they closed Llandudno hospital not just for breast cancer care but for the minimal coronary care - people will have to travel miles and miles for treatment."

Llandudno Hospital
Protests have been held outside Llandudno hospital

"How are the other hospitals going to cope with this huge influx of people from Llandudno?"

In June, about 100 opponents of plans to withdraw Llandudno's services held a rally at the hospital.

A 17,000-signature petition was handed over at the protest outside the hospital's main gates.

Other north Wales local health boards and NHS trusts are to vote on the report's recommendations next week.

On Monday, members of Conwy and Denbighshire NHS Trust board will meet at Glan Clwyd Hospital.

North West Wales NHS Trust and Gwynedd LHB board will also meet to discuss the proposals in Y Galeri, Caernarfon.

On 11 September, plans to reform acute hospital services across mid and west Wales were stalled because of public opposition.

A review board recommended the NHS needed to look again at how to create one main hospital for Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire.

It followed months of campaigning by staff and patients at Withybush Hospital in Haverfordwest, which had faced closure or downgrading.




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
"If my son had had to wait to go to Bangor, he would have died"



SEE ALSO
Demo over hospital downgrading
10 Jun 06 |  North West Wales
Hospital reshuffle crisis meeting
17 Mar 06 |  North West Wales
Two hospitals may close in review
12 Mar 06 |  North West Wales
Question over future of hospitals
20 Feb 06 |  North East Wales



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific