Plaid Cymru MP for Dwyfor Meirionnydd Liz Saville Roberts has called on Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board to provide firm assurances that work being done to look at the future of nursing beds at the Penrhos Polish Home and wider nursing care in Pen Llŷn will both safeguard the interests of residents and guarantee adequate nursing care in future in the immediate area.
Mrs Saville Roberts’ comments follow an announcement by the local health board that they are working on a proposal on the future provision of nursing care in Pen Llŷn, which is due to be presented to Cyngor Gwynedd on the 14th September.
The Plaid Cymru MP has been working alongside prominent health campaigner and Chair of the north Wales Health Alliance Mabon ap Gwynfor and local Councillor Angela Russell to safeguard nursing beds in the area.
Liz Saville Roberts MP said,
'I have been in regular discussions with all relevant authorities since the Polish Housing Society announced their decision to close the nursing home in June.'
'Continuity of nursing provision is primarily the responsibility of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.'
'Community leaders are unanimous that the people of Llŷn urgently need to know what the future holds for nursing beds at the site and how the health board will maintain nursing care in the immediate area.'
'Given the level of anxiety following the closure announcement - among patients, their families and staff members - I welcome a clear timeline from the health board, and that proposals will now be drawn up and presented by early September.'
'A timely decision is essential to maintain workforce and family confidence, and failing to act swiftly could in itself result in the closure of the Polish Home.'
'I also urge the health board to ensure that all information used to inform strategic decisions is in the public domain in order to safeguard public confidence in the final decision.'
'As they draw up their proposals, I would appeal to health bosses to be guided by their duty to patient care. There are already concerns regarding nursing care capacity in Dwyfor.'
'Future plans must consider how to keep loved-ones physically close to their families, and to ensure proper planning in terms of facilities, staffing and funding.'
'I strongly urge BCUHB to bring forward proposals which reflect the overwhelming public support for protecting nursing beds at the Polish Home and the wider need to maintain and improve local nursing provision in Pen Llŷn into the future.’
Mabon ap Gwynfor said,
'There's a need for nursing beds here. We have an ageing population, with increasingly complex needs. But frail, elderly people also need to be near their loved ones. Pen Llyn is rural and isolated, and it's not right to expect frail and elderly people to move away from their communities because of a lack of services.
"The Health Board has the ability to step up and ensure that the provision is not only maintained but also improved. This timetable is to be welcomed, but the message from here is clear - there is a demand and the authorities need to ensure that those needs are met."
Councillor Angela Russell added,
‘I have repeatedly lobbied both the local Health Board and the Welsh Government to voice the concerns of the community, and I will continue to work with others to try and ensure that the Health Board sees the true value of providing nursing beds on the site.’
‘The local Health Board has the ability to step in and ensure that provision is not only maintained at Penrhos, but that we see genuine improvements to it.’
‘Pen Llŷn is a dispersed rural area, with all the associated transport issues. We shouldn't expect the elderly and vulnerable to have to move away from their families and local communities because of a lack of sufficient provision.’
'The Health Board must work constructively with others to ensure that nursing beds will be maintained here. They simply cannot turn their backs on Pen Llŷn.'