CAMPAIGNERS say they are “desperately” trying to keep beds open at Llanidloes War Memorial Hospital.

The Patients Forum, League of Friends and Llanidloes Town Council say they “dispute” Powys Teaching Health Board’s claims that there is no demand for re-opening several beds at the Palliative Care Suite.

During construction work at the hospital, seven beds needed to close temporarily for Health and Safety reasons.

“Unfortunately theses beds have never been re-opened,” campaigners say.

“The reason given by Powys Teaching Health Board is that there is no demand for these beds, no patients have been denied admission or transfer to Llanidloes Hospital. The Patients’ Forum, the League of Friends and Llanidloes Town Council dispute this statement.”

They are calling on the community to have their say about their experiences, good or bad, relating to admission or transfer to Llanidloes War Memorial Hospital due to beds not being available.

They say that they need to prove a need for the beds and so require as much information from local residents as possible.

A spokesperson for the group said: “No personal details are required, just approximate dates and any data provided will be treated with the utmost confidentiality.”

Carol Shillabeer, chief executive of Powys Teaching Health Board, said: “I am looking forward to meeting with representatives from the Patients Forum, Town Council and League of Friends later this month so that together we will continue to develop and deliver vibrant services for the communities of Llanidloes and District, importantly including those provided in Llanidloes War Memorial Hospital. Our meeting will provide a valuable opportunity to discuss the experiences and needs of the local community, and how we can continue to meet these needs through services in the hospital, the wider community and patient’s homes.”

“Llanidloes Hospital continues to have up to 14 beds available including the Garden Rooms which offer two single en-suite palliative care rooms made possible through generous fundraising by the local community. The number of beds that are occupied each day does vary depending on the level of clinical and patient need. Today there are eight inpatients at Llanidloes Hospital which reflects the current demand for community hospital beds, but during periods of higher demand this increases to accommodate more patients.”