Call for expansion of rural GP surgery

Award-winning practice 'deserves the very best of modern facilities'

Picture caption from left - Llyr Gruffydd MS, Dyfed Edwards (chair BCUHB), Dr Keiran Redman, Dr Bill Whitehead and Geoff Ryall-Harvey of Llais

Plaid Cymru's North Wales Senedd Member has called for a long-running dispute between an award-winning GP surgery and Betsi Cadwaladr health board to be settled once and for all.

Llyr Gruffydd MS made his comments after a meeting between BCUHB chair Dyfed Edwards at the Hanmer surgery, which is run by Dr Kieran Redman. The current surgery is operating from an overcrowded and dilapidated building that all parties agree is not fit for purpose and there has been a decade-long campaign by staff and patients for a new building that would be able to offer an expanded service for patients in Hanmer and surrounding rural area.

The meeting was facilitated by Llais, the patients' voice, and Llyr Gruffydd said he hoped that the meeting would settle the long-running dispute.

He said: "I first visited Dr Redman at the surgery back in 2020 and it's incredibly frustrating for him, his staff and patients to see that - despite endless meetings, several plans and promises by a variety of health board managers, nothing has materialised. 

"The latest offer by the health board was for a new GP surgery with a footprint of 298 square metres. This is totally inadequate to enable the practice to offer sufficient space for two doctors, training for students, private consultation rooms and adequate storage and staff facilities. The health board has been given several opportunities to meet these requirements and we should remember that Dr Redman and his staff have had to put up with inadequate and frankly outdated facilities for more than a decade as this dispute rumbled on.

"That was why I was so glad to be able to join this important meeting with the new chair of BCUHB, Dyfed Edwards. He has shown a new willingness to engage with communities that feel they are losing health facilities, something that's felt very acutely in rural areas. We recently had a public meeting  with him in Betws-y-Coed with a very positive outcome and I'm optimistic that, having seen the situation first hand, he will want to ensure that the good work being done in Hanmer can continue in a fit-for-purpose building.

"Such a building would enable the practice to take on students from the North Wales Medical School and ensure a new stream of GPs who can replace those who are looking to retire or reduce their hours. This is an exemplar practice that has won awards for its pioneering work in the past and it deserves the very best of modern facilities to enhance that work in the future.

"The health board has a new chief executive and I'm hoping that this fresh leadership team will see a new emphasis put on these important primary health services."

 Dr Kieran Redman, who has led the campaign for more than a decade, said: “We were delighted that Mr Edwards and Mr Gruffydd took the time to visit Hanmer Surgery to see for themselves the primitive conditions from which we provide a service to our patients. We are also indebted to Mr Ryall-Harvey and his colleagues at Llais for arranging this meeting.

 “We have been campaigning for new premises for twelve years now; this is far too long. Our patients are no less important than those who are registered at other surgeries which have newer, more spacious and better-equipped premises. Yet the constant pressure from Health Board managers to restrict the size of our new project, to something so small that it would be overcrowded as soon as it opened, is very frustrating.

 “We have to hope that 2024 will finally be the year in which we reach a successful conclusion to our long campaign and our patients will be able to receive medical care in premises fit for the 2020s rather than the 1960s.”

 Geoff Ryall-Harvey, Regional Director of Llais North Wales, added: “We felt that it was necessary to progress this long-standing matter and were pleased that the BCUHB Chair and Llyr Gruffydd agreed to a meeting with Dr Redman and representatives of the Hanmer Surgery Patient Action Group. The patients and staff of the Hanmer Surgery deserve a modern surgery that meets today's needs.”

Dyfed Edwards, Chair of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, said: “I recently visited the Hanmer Surgery to understand the issues and discuss the plans for development to improve facilities that will benefit both staff and patients.

“I was glad to hear first-hand Dr Redman's concerns and I will feedback to our operational teams supporting the redevelopment plans, to ensure residents get a fit-for-purpose building. We will stay in regular contact with the practice, as well as Llyr Gruffydd and LLAIS, and we will continue to work with them as plans progress.”


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  • Marc Jones
    published this page in News 2024-02-21 16:07:41 +0000

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