Vote for NHS beds in Blaenau Ffestiniog hospital referendum

Blaenau Ffestiniog Memorial Hospital Image copyright BBC news grab
Image caption A health centre is planned for the former Blaenau Ffestiniog Memorial Hospital

A Gwynedd community has voted overwhelmingly in favour of returning in-patients beds, X-ray facilities and a minor injuries unit to a hospital.

Blaenau Ffestiniog Memorial Hospital closed in 2013 but campaigners want to ensure future plans for a health centre on the site include beds.

They held a referendum on Thursday and 1,688 people voted in favour of the facilities and five voted no.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said it was aware of the strong views.

Turnout for the local vote was 52%.

However, while the overwhelming result reflects local opinion, the referendum is not enforceable or binding on the health board.

"The outcome of the poll reinforces to us the importance of local services to local people," the health board said in response to the vote.

"The decisions in relation to services at Blaenau Ffestiniog were not taken lightly, but after careful consideration of all the challenges facing services and the opinions that were expressed as part of the consultation."

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