The MS for Dwyfor Meirionnydd has welcomed assurances from the chair of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board that Dolgellau Hospital will continue to be a community hospital and play a key role in healthcare provision in Meirionnydd.

Mabon ap Gwynfor, who is campaigning to improve access to health services in south Meirionnydd and Bro Dysynni, which suffers when it comes to accessing GPs, dentists and other health services, met with newly appointed chair of BCUHB, Dyfed Edwards, and senior managers and staff during a visit to Dolgellau Hospital to discuss the role of the hospital and concerns regarding community health services in south Meirionnydd.

Mr ap Gwynfor said: “I welcomed the opportunity to discuss the future of Dolgellau Hospital with the chair of BCUHB and senior managers during a visit to the site last week. I wanted to emphasise how important a facility the hospital is for the community.

“There were concerns in the community that plans were afoot to downgrade the hospital. This would never have been acceptable, and I made that point strongly in regular communications with the health board

“I invited the new chair of the so he could see the importance of the place.

“Dyfed Edwards knew the hospital well from his days living in Meirionnydd and made it clear he wanted to see greater investment in community health provision and that Dolgellau Hospital’s future was assured. This assurance was extremely welcomed.

“Dolgellau Hospital is a valued and much relied upon medical asset for people in south Meirionnydd and it is vital that it is efficiently used to its maximum potential in a way that best serves patients in a rural setting.’

“We know that the recruitment and retention of healthcare staff is an acute problem in south Meirionnydd, but I want to put on record my gratitude to all staff working at Dolgellau Hospital for their unwavering service and commitment.

“Health services across Wales are at breaking point, but the situation in rural communities such as Dwyfor Meirionnydd is at crisis point.

“I will keep up the pressure on the Welsh Government to fund the improvements that are so badly needed to meet the specific health challenges faced by my constituents and others living in rural areas.”

BCUHB was asked to comment but a spokesperson said they had nothing to add.