THE health board continues to review its proposals for the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Rhyl, according to Wales' new first minister, Vaughan Gething. 

Gareth Davies, MS for Vale of Clwyd, asked for an update on plans for the new North Denbighshire Community Hospital during 'Questions to the First Minister' in the Senedd on April 30. The plans were put on hold after costs spiralled from £22million to £100million.

Mr Davies pushed for Mr Gething to get the project "over the line" stating that Mark Drakeford, former first minister, was regretful that he could not deliver the proposals during his time in office. 

Mr Gething said: "The health board is currently reviewing its proposals for the Royal Alexandra Hospital site in partnership with local stakeholders. Proposals are expected to include a minor injuries unit, intermediate care beds and integrated care. 

"The business case should be submitted to the Welsh Government when ready."

Plans for a new North Denbighshire Community Hospital, on the former Royal Alexandra site, were revealed in 2013.

The project has been beset by delays since the estimated cost ballooned.

Mr Davies said: "My constituents have been waiting over 10 years for this community hospital to be built within Rhyl which is long seen as the remedy to treat in some of the most acute issues in Glan Clwyd's A&E departments which is the worst performing hospital in the worst performing health board."

He continued: "You [Mr Gething] were the health minister when you first announced £40m to go towards the North Denbighshire Community Hospital and where I can appreciate the fact costs have gone up significantly since then, I think you can either go two ways with this first minister. You can either be the first minister in an ever increasing line of first ministers to fail on delivering this project in which your direct predecessor said was a regret of his that this hospital wasn't delivered or you could be the first minister to get this project over the line."

Mr Gething responded: "It is of course a matter for regret that the proposals to use the Royal Alexandra site, that has widespread support, have not come to fruition yet. When I approved proposals some years ago the initial price tag was thought about £40million. That then increased to £100million.

"It is worth reflecting, not just the significant increase in the cost of the project, but all of that took place against a backdrop of capital ability within the Welsh Government and Welsh NHS and has reduced successively. We have actually done worse on capital than we have done on revenue in the last few budget rounds so we are really really squeezed.


"What has now taken place is the scheme has been prioritised by the regional planning board and other partners, the health service, working with other local partners to look at a design that should work.

"It is a matter for those partners to come up with a full business case and come to the government for approval."

Speaking after the plenary, Mr Davies said: "The first minister has attempted to deflect responsibility as he knows that Ysbyty Glan Clwyd’s Emergency Department is at breaking point, and we are yet to see action from his Government.

“It’s been 11 years since the North Denbighshire Community Hospital was announced and the Welsh Government have consistently dragged their feet allowing the costs to spiral.

“If he is serious about delivering for patients in North Wales, he will work with the health board to get the ball rolling on a new proposal.

"We will believe it when we see it.”

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) said they had nothing to add on the matter at this time.