CAMPAIGNERS calling for assurances that major changes at the top of a health board will not see investment in new surgery in Hanmer side-lined have been joined by Senedd member Ken Skates.

Mr Skates, MS for Clwyd South, has written to Dr Gill Harris, interim chief executive of under-pressure Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB), to ensure that plans for a new surgery in Hanmer will not ‘drop off the radar’.

Mr Skates said that the new surgery is needed to allow rural communities such as Hanmer to be treated properly.

He said: “These are massively important campaigns for their communities, and we cannot afford for them to drop off the radar because of the situation at Betsi Cadwaladr.

“These facilities have been needed for a long, long time and over the past few years a lot of hard work has gone into getting the plans to the stages they’re at now.”

Mr Skates paid tribute to the Hanmer Surgery Patient Action Group (HSPAG), which is supporting GP Dr Kieran Redman’s plans for a new facility.

“I will continue to support Dr Redman and HSPAG as best I can,” said Mr Skates.

“The dedication of the patients involved in the campaign should be applauded – and ultimately rewarded.”


He added: “Like every health board in Britain, BCUHB is facing a number of challenges at the moment and there are no easy solutions.

“However, we do need assurances that these long-awaited projects will not be side-lined as a result – and I hope we will get them.”

Mr Skates has also supported a campaign for a new health centre in Cefn Mawr, also in Wrexham, and helped launch it in 2015 with county councillor Derek Wright and the late Ken Bathers, the former chair of Cefn Community Council.

Cllr Wright said: “I feel like we’ve done about as much as we can now, and we need that commitment from the health board that they want it to happen as much as we do.”

Cllr Wright and Mr Skates are due to meet with BCUHB for an update on the plans for Cefn.

Cllr Wright added: “Ken and I have put in a lot of effort to this over the years, and we’ve suffered setbacks and false dawns along the way.

“We remain determined to help deliver this health centre for Cefn. Caritas Surgery is falling apart, and the staff and patients deserve better.”