Plaid Cymru politicians have joined together to call for Denbigh Infirmary to become a proper rehabilitation unit in the wake of 10 beds being closed at the site.
Llyr Gruffydd, Plaid Cymru’s North Wales AM, has already expressed disappointment that 10 beds located above the kitchen in Denbigh Infirmary were to be closed by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB). He said: “It’s disappointing that no alternative solution is being sought by BCUHB to relocate those beds within Denbigh Infirmary itself. The reduction in beds in community hospitals across the region has, in my view, contributed to higher demand on our district general hospitals and placed NHS staff under greater pressure.”
Mr Gruffydd along with local Councillors Glenn Swingler, Rhys Thomas, Gwyneth Kensler, Meirick Lloyd davies, and Sue Lloyd-Williams and Community Councillors Elfed Williams, Dyfrig Berry and Gwawr Cordiner have now backed calls by medical experts for the beds to be reallocated to the Physiotherapy unit on the ground floor of the hospital.
Cllr Elfed Williams said: “The present site for the beds, on the first floor, could be developed into a physiotherapy and rehab unit as called for by some local medical practitioners. At present Denbigh Infirmary physiotherapy unit is used more as an outpatient unit with physiotherapy provided on the wards. A proper rehab unit would still provide an outpatient service, accessed by a lift, but would also benefit inpatients as well.”
Mr Gruffydd added: “One major cause of extended stays in hospital, especially for elderly patients is a lack of rehabilitation after an illness or operation. Bed rest or acute inactivity associated with long stays in hospital poses a threat to muscle tissue. In older adults, physical inactivity during a period in hospital can lead to a 10% reduction in muscle mass per week. This can contribute to a host of negative outcomes, including a reduction in the ability to perform activities of daily living, increases in secondary infection, increased incidence of readmission and institutionalisation.
“With a proper rehab unit in Denbigh Infirmary there would be a reduction in the number of days a patient would need to stay in hospital, encourage independence, improve mental health and release more beds for other patients.”
The Plaid Cymru politicians have written to BCUHB chief executive Gary Doherty outlining their proposals.