This week's Penarth Times uses its' front page to announce that Llandough hospital is to receive 'a £16m boost'. This is - according to our absent-minded and confused Minister of Health Ms Leslie Griffiths - to enable the relocation of Rookwood Hospital to Llandough hospital in a value-for-value swap (which, incidentally, is an impossibility, according to every surveyor and civil engineer I have consulted ).
2.1/2 years ago we had the infamous consultation 'Making a Difference etc etc' which was supposed to raise public opinion and awareness on the Heallth Board's plans to relocate all of Rookwood's services to half of the top floor of Llandough, thereby replacing neonatal, maternity and women's services, to be re-sited at the University Hospital at the Heath, Cardiff. This nonsensical idea was to create a 'Centre of Excellence'for Spinal and Neurological services at Llandough, because the facilities at Rookwood were 'outdated and inflexible' , according to Ms Griffiths A.M. What she failed to state was that the Rookwood site had NOT been maintained or updated for the previous 17 years, in order to bring about the iniquitous sale of the Rookwood land for housing. The proceeds of this shameful disposal were, of course, to fund the development costs at Llandough, instead of the £80m of ringfenced money that
The facts, however, are these:-
In her Budget announcement of the 3rd October 2012, the Finance Minister, Jane Hutt AM announced that £30m was to be spent on hospitals,including £12m for adult mental health facilities in Llandough, Cardiff and Glanrhyd hospital at Bridgend ( published facts in Western Mail, same date ).
In the Penarth Times front page, Ms Leslie Griffiths A.M. proudly declared that £16 was to fund all of the capital costs of re-siting Rookwood hospital, which was providing an excellent service from Fairwater Road, Cardiff.
Now, if I ask my 7 year old grandson to add these figures, he arrives a total of £28m, only, for both developments, when 2.1/2 years earlier the infamous team of Hollard and Norton assured the CHC, Penarth Council, the public and patients ( of Cardiff and the Vale ) that £80m was ringfenced for the new Mental Hospital alone, as the Rookwood move was to be funded out of the proceeds of the iniquitous sale of land and buildings at Rookwood.
To confuse ( or clarify ) matters further, the Charity Commission will NOT allow the Health Board to profit from the sale of the Rookwood - in any shape or form.
From this, I suggest that the £80m quoted for the new mental health hospital was fictional, intended to gain support for the proposed changes by providing completely false information - all supported by the Community Health Council, who are paid to sanction this dirty-dealing. I further suggest that the Rookwood move ( if it takes place ) will be funded out of the money set aside for the new mental health hospital. Therefore - if we are to deduce anything from the charlatans at NHS Wales or the Cardiff and Vale Universally Inept Health Board - I would suggest that the new mental health hospital will not be built, either at Llandough or Whitchurch because of a lack of funds and a total contempt for the mentally ill in Cardiff and the Vale, who will all be dumped ( unceremoniously ) back into the community i.e. GPs, the patient's families and, of course the police.
As a footnote, we have asked what is to be done at Whitchurch for the ( still ) next four years, or 6.1/2 years in total since the original false promise of a new hospital was made. Needless to say, we are still waiting for the answer ! R.W.