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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 September 2005, 15:56 GMT 16:56 UK
Hospital closure threat suspended
Fairwood Hospital
Fairwood Hospital will remain open until at least next year
Health service managers in Swansea have dropped plans to close a convalescence hospital - for the time being.

Seven thousand people signed a petition against mothballing Fairwood Hospital as part of a 4.3 savings plan.

The Local Health Board has ditched the idea after being told it would have to carry out lengthy consultation.

But the long-term future of the 28 bed unit was uncertain as a review of all Swansea's community hospitals would be carried out in the next financial year.

One of the reasons given by Swansea NHS Trust for shutting Fairwood was the occupancy rate for beds was around 50%.

But after a meeting this week mangers said current service provision would be maintained.

The local health board (LHB) said it would work with the trust to use facilities at the hospital more efficiently.

Chief executive Sue Heatherington said it had been a unanimous decision to put on hold the discussion on Fairwood's future.

"We can now plan for the next stage in the review of community health services in Swansea," she said.

She said the public, patients and staff would be given the chance to comment on the hospital's future in next year's review.

The LHB started the year with a 16.3m funding gap which it cut by 12m through changes to patient care. It needs to find a further 4.3m in savings.


SEE ALSO
Thousands oppose hospital closure
12 Sep 05 |  South West Wales
Cash worry means hospital changes
29 Jul 05 |  South West Wales
Consultants attack cuts in beds
02 Feb 05 |  South West Wales

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