DOCTORS are to be withdrawn from Llandudno Hospital Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) during the week as part of medical cover changes by health bosses.
The unit, which is open seven days a week from 8am until 10pm, is currently manned by doctors during the daytime Monday to Friday.
From later this month however it will instead be manned by Emergency Nurse Practitioners (ENP) as Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board look to bring its staffing structure in line with other services within its portfolio.
A Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board spokesperson said: “We will retain access to senior medical advice and will continue to liaise closely with the GP Out of Hours service located in the hospital on weekends.
“The impact of this change will be monitored and reviewed as required.”
President of the Hospital Action Group Carol Marubbi said not having medical cover was unacceptable and she would not be putting up with the new plans.
Cllr Ronnie Hughes, of the Tudno Ward, said it was a disgrace and a backward step by the NHS and wanted to know why investment wasn’t being put into the Llandudno Hospital and the MIU.
Cllr Hughes said the waiting times at Glan Clwyd and Ysbyty Gwynedd were already long enough and the removal of medical cover at the Llandudno MIU would only increase these.
He said: “We have an extra £400 million from the assembly and they make the decision to cut medical cover. They should be investing in more people to allow more access and helping the situation in Bodelwyddan (Glad Clwyd Hospital) and Bangor.
“This is not going to ease the pressure, it is going to put extra pressure on the nurses.”
However North Wales Community Health Council chief officer Geoff Ryall-Harvey said people shouldn’t worry about these changes describing them as ‘fairly normal’.
Mr Ryall-Harvey said: “I don’t think people should be worried, the nurses are properly trained staff.
“The fact is they are not using an agency or a locum so they are getting a bit of continuity and permanent staff.”
The Betsi Cadwaladr spokesperson said the medical cover has only ever been available during daytime hours, Monday to Friday, and a majority of patients are already seen by the ENP.
Meanwhile, the Beuno Ward in Llandudno Hospital remains closed still with no date set for its reopening.
The Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board spokesperson said: “We are actively recruiting for the nurse vacancies but are not yet in a position to reopen the ward.”
The spokesperson said the ward would remain closed until all of the nursing vacancies had been filled.