PLANS to provide a greater variety of services at a community hospital which has lost a dementia ward and minor injuries unit in recent years have been met with scepticism.

Aneurin Bevan University Health Board plans could see more outpatient services coming to Chepstow Community Hospital as part of a reorganisation which focusses on bringing care closer to home.

The community hospital is earmarked to become one of the health board's hubs where residents can receive regular care in one place, without having to travel further afield.

A meeting of the Lower Wye Area committee last week heard the plans could help combat issues which Monmouthshire residents currently face, such as missed appointments and parking problems when visiting Newport's Royal Gwent Hospital for outpatient services.

Melanie Laidler, from the health board, said the plans include further developing outpatient clinics for the elderly.

A spokeswoman for the health board said: "Chepstow Community Hospital is designated to become a multi-disciplinary hub where local residents can receive the regular care they need in one place, without having to travel further afield.

"Outpatient clinics that are already up and running at the hospital include care for older adults, warfarin checks and audiology services.

"These have all been successful and received positive patient feedback.

"Therefore the health board is planning to further develop these services within the hospital.

"Within the next six months, the health board is also planning to launch a deep vein thrombosis service from the hospital.

"The health board is delighted to be developing these services within the Monmouthshire area and Chepstow Community Hospital continues to play a pivotal role in the delivery of services across the health board area."

Cllr Jez Becker, St. Mary's ward, said the proposals represented a 'u-turn' after the closure of the dementia ward and minor injuries unit at the hospital in recent years.


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He said: "What they have said is very positive - but it's a case of whether what they say matches up to what they do."

Former town councillor Stephanie Dovey was sceptical about the proposals.

"We've had years of promises which have not come to any fruition," she said.

"As far as I am concerned that hospital at the moment is no more than a glorified doctor's surgery."

However Ms Laidler dismissed any claims she was "here to talk idle promises" and said the plans represented "an exciting opportunity" to develop an integrated service at the hospital.

The plans will be further discussed at a special meeting of Monmouthshire council's adults select committee on Monday.