NORTH DENBIGHSHIRE COMMUNITY HOSPITAL PROJECT
- Meeting of Partnerships Scrutiny Committee, Thursday, 14 September 2023 10.00 am (Item 5.)
- View the declarations of interest for item 5.
To discuss with a representative from the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board the progress made to date in relation to delivering this project.
10.15am – 10.45am
The Lead Member for Health and Social Care, Councillor Elen Heaton introduced the North Denbighshire Community Hospital Project update.
Members were informed that although the North Denbighshire Community Hospital was a Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) Project, Denbighshire County Council (DCC) were committed to supporting the vital project.
It was explained that the Project was crucial due to growing demands and pressures within Ysbyty Glan Clwyd A&E Department.
The Lead Member stated that the North Wales Regional Partnership Board (NWRPB) had been required to draft their first 10 year Strategic Capital Plan which had now been submitted to Welsh Government. The development of the Royal Alexandra Hospital was one of three priority projects covering Denbighshire Council.
The Form Zero applications had now been approved by the Regional Partnership Board however, although this was reassuring it was stated that this would only account for 20% of the total funding of the project and was only the first phase of application and not any guarantee of funding.
In August 2023 the Corporate Director, the Leader and the Lead Member for Health and Social Care met with the new interim Chair and Chief Executive of BCUHB. This was a very productive meeting and focused on the development of the North Denbighshire Community Hospital Project. It was reiterated that BCUHB were committed to seeing the project through and were continuing to make contact with Welsh Government to expedite the progress of the project.
The Lead Member expressed the undeniable need for this project to be completed however, there was the need to remember the difficult financial situation being faced.
The Corporate Director further explained the process and timescales as follows:
· Form Zero (application form) had now been submitted and approved by the Regional Partnership Board.
· North Wales Projects that had been approved at Form Zero level will be approved by the Regional Partnership Board and then be submitted to Welsh Government.
The update provided to the Committee in the meeting was a significant step forward in the project however, the funding was yet to be approved by Welsh Government.
The Integrated Health Community (IHC) Director of Operations listed the types of services that would be in place at Royal Alexandra Hospital site and the expectation of them as follows: -
· The recommission of community beds
· Enhanced treatment zones
· Level 1-3 Sexual Health
· Community Dental Services
· Older People Mental Health
· CAMHS (Child and Adolescents Mental Health Services)
· Relocation of SPOA (Single Point Of Access Team)
· Minor Injuries Unit (MIU)
· Multidisciplinary Services
· Enhanced radiology
· Preventative advisory services e.g. smoking cessation etc.
· Spaces for the voluntary sector
It was reiterated to the Committee that it was a very difficult financial climate and the cost of the project had significantly changed. The capital project required a review of revenue costs and identification of sources to plug any financial shortfalls.
The Chair thanked the Lead Member and Officers for their comprehensive update and welcomed questions from the Committee.
Members thanked Officers for their work on the Project however, expressed their disappointment at the length of time that this project had been promised to the community and sought clarity on the timescales of the Project going forward.
The Corporate Director understood the frustrations of the Committee and stated that there was currently no timescale for when Welsh Government would respond to the Form Zero Denbighshire County Council would be submitting to them. It would be for Welsh Government to give a date for when the application would be considered by them once they had received it.
Members questioned why there was no report given to the Committee prior to the meeting, and that a Business Case had been submitted however, the Committee had not seen this.
The Corporate Director explained that Committee Members had received updates on the North Denbighshire Community Hospital Project for many years. There was no report submitted for the meeting as there was nothing in writing to share at this moment in time.
At this juncture, the Scrutiny Co-Ordinator explained that BCUHB representatives were not compelled to share documents with the Committee.
The Director of Operations reassured the Committee that they would continue to liaise with Welsh Government to progress the project.
Members sought clarity on if there were any statutory rules in place to compel the Minister in Welsh Government to respond to the submissions within a timely manner. The Chair asked the Scrutiny Co-ordinator if they would seek clarity on this from the Monitoring Officer.
The concerning issue of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) had been widely documented in the press over the past week and Members questioned if the Health Board had conducted a survey on the North Denbighshire Community Hospital site. The Director of Operations Stated that surveys on the building had been completed and no issues with the concrete had been found.
The Chair thanked Officers for their attendance and the update that was given.
Members thanked Alyson Constantine for attending and for sharing the latest information with them. The Committee:
subject to the above observations –
to acknowledge the information
provided in relation to the progress made to date in relation to delivering the
North Denbighshire Community Hospital Project;
to register its continued
disappointment on the lack of a definitive timescale for the project’s
request that a further report be
presented to the Committee upon receipt
of the Welsh Government decisions relating to the Health Board’s 10 year
Capital Plan and the North Wales Regional Partnership Board’s 10 year Strategic