A debate in last week’s full Council meeting led to calls for Denbighshire Councillors to support a new hospital on the site of the old Royal Alexandra Hospital in Rhyl to deliver modern health and social care services for the County.

Lead Member for Health and Social Care, Councillor Elen Heaton, expressed the importance of securing community-based services for the County, ensuring care is person-centred and caters to individual preference stating that most, if not all residents, would prefer to be cared for at home – an aspiration in the Welsh Government’s Social Services and Well-being Act.

Councillor Heaton called for the Council to consider the comprehensive solution for future health and social care services in the County by supporting the full business case proposal for the redevelopment of the Royal Alexandra Hospital.

Councillor Heaton supports this general principle but only as a short-term solution as the Council shouldn’t be compromising and settling for second best, rather striving to secure the gold standard in services for our residents.

During the debate, Councillor Heaton said, “This proposal would look to delivering modern services to meet the needs of residents and would include treatment areas, community beds and notably, a minor injuries unit, which would be crucial to alleviate pressure on Ysbyty Glan Clwyd’s A&E department.

“This would lead to the most holistic and effective approach to delivering the health and social care needs of the people in our community.”

Backing the proposal, Councillor Kelly Clewett, a practicing Team Manager with Denbigh District Nurses said, “Having worked in hospitals and community teams throughout Conwy and Denbighshire I believe it’s important to ensure that we put our efforts into planning for modern community services to offer a more robust home care provision following hospital discharge.”

Councillor Clewett argues for the need to develop better access to the care people require in their own homes, rather than create another in-patient facility for people needing discharge to ‘home care’ packages; which is the cohort of patients the motion refers to. In addition it is vital to support the partnership between the NHS/BCU Community and Primary Care colleagues and Denbighshire County Council Adult Social Care services within the Community Resource Teams in order to prevent admissions in the first place.