Mid Wales

Cardigan hospital beds closure judicial review bid

Cardigan Hospital
Image caption Inpatient beds were closed at Cardigan hospital in February

A health board's decision to close inpatient beds at Cardigan hospital is facing a legal challenge.

A solicitor has lodged an application for a Judicial Review on Hywel Dda Health Board's move on behalf of groups opposing the closure.

They claim there was inadequate consultation by the health board before it made its decision last December.

The health board said it had "carefully considered" the requirement for formal consultation.

Beds for inpatients are now being provided in nursing homes in the area.

In December the health board announced Cardigan hospital would only treat outpatients from March.

'Carefully considered'

But opponents to the closure of inpatient beds at the hospital submitted a 11,042-name petition to the Welsh assembly in January.

Campaigners wanted the decision overturned and also called on the health board to step up its plans for a new £15m health centre in the town which includes a GPs' surgery.

Solicitor, Michael Imperato had lodged the judicial review application on behalf of community groups including Cardigan Hospital League of Friends.

He said: "We served the application on 2 May and the health board has three weeks to provide a response.

"We expect a decision on whether we have an arguable case in a few weeks."

Cardigan Hospital League of Friends chairman, Eirwyn Harries, said: "We believe there was inadequate consultation by the health board before it decided to close inpatient beds at the hospital.

"The application will now go before a judge who will decide if we have a strong enough case for a judicial review."

The health board said it considered the group's call for a formal consultation.

A spokeswoman added: "The decision made in December 2013 recognised a clinical imperative to close these beds and that the Your Health Your Future consultation clearly articulated a move to fewer in-patient beds in a hospital environment.

"These beds are now provided in Cardigan and the surrounding area in a community setting with no beds being lost to the county.

"The health board has been informed of an application for Judicial Review on this decision and remains of the view that it has fully complied with its legal obligations."

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