A positive meeting between health board officials, a local Hanmer GP and a wide range of local politicians has brought fresh hope that a dilapidated GP surgery could be replaced with a new health centre.
The remote meeting organised by Dr Kieran Redman, a GP based in Hanmer, along with patients was attended by – amongst others – Llyr Gruffydd, Plaid Cymru’s North Wales MS.
He has been pressing for the surgery to be replaced with a new modern building to allow the practice to flourish and met with Dr Redman and the local patients’ action group in September to see for himself the current state of the building.
Today’s meeting heard from Betsi Cadwaladr’s interim chief executive Gill Harris, who accepted the building was not fit for purpose after a recent visit there.
She also accepted the point raised by Mr Gruffydd that this was a rural practice stretching over a large part of south Maelor and – as such – needed funding to take account of that rather than just accepting an urban funding model.
After the meeting, Mr Gruffydd said: “I’ve been working with the patients’ group and Dr Redman for months now and I know that they’ve spent years trying to get this project off the ground. It’s been a very frustrating process, but I am heartened to hear the positive noises coming from the interim chief executive. She was very apologetic about the delays in the process, especially as there would be no capital outlay for the health board.
“This positive attitude is in marked contrast to previous responses and I think, subject to the project meeting the business case criteria, we could see some more positive news in the coming month or two. There are of course many hurdles to overcome in terms of the health board’s criteria for approval, but this did seem to be a breakthrough meeting. That’s all down to the vision and persistence of both Dr Redman and his very able supporters in the action group, led by a very determined Barbara Weeks.
“I’m also grateful for the health board and Gill Harris in particular for picking up on the importance of this in the midst of a pandemic and for the cross-party nature of the campaign to get this project over the line.”