Wednesday, February 27, 2008

So Solid

In Aberconwy last May, local Plaid Cymru candidate Gareth Jones - now the local Plaid AM - had the phrase "Save Llandudno Hospital" printed on the ballot paper as part of his successful campaign to rid that constituency of Labour.

So Plaid's response to an announcement by Health Minister Edwina Hart on the future of Llandudno hospital today was intriguing. A final decision hasn't been taken, but one of the reviews she launched after the election agreed with the removal of breast surgery, coronary and acute stroke services. A range of other services, including stroke rehabilitation and breast screening, will be retained and revamped in exchange.

Last March, Mr Jones said this: "Removing coronary care beds and breast surgery services, and no longer admitting medical emergencies, is, by any standards, a downgrading."

Well, today he issued a press release welcoming the "solid guarantee" that the hospital would not be downgraded and would retain its status as an acute site. He says he's going to press Edwina to keep breast services at Llandudno, adding: "The minister's promise today will come as a great relief to all those in Aberconwy and surrounding areas that have argued so strongly for the future of Llandudno hospital."

I honestly don't know if what was announced for Llandudno today amounts to a downgrading or not. But with Plaid supporters already upset about Y Byd and the closure of small schools in Gwynedd, more and more appears to be riding on Rhodri Glyn Thomas's forthcoming Welsh-language LCO.

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