The Cardiff and Vale University Health Board – the organisation which wants to close two GP surgeries in Penarth – is planning to create a 19-acre “bee-orchard” in the grounds of Llandough Hospital.
The Health Board (UHB for short) has already been lambasted for its organisational shortcomings and, in particular, keeping patients waiting for hours in ambulances – stacked-up outside the Heath Hospital in Cardiff.
It is also the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board that wants to close two GP surgeries in Penarth (Station Road and Redlands) and replace them with a new “Health Hub” to be built on the tennis courts of the Penarth Leisure Centre at Cogan .
It turns out that the Cardiff and Vale |Health Board owns 19 acres of land which are described as being “behind the wall” at the far end of the grounds of Llandough Hospital .
The plan is to develop this land as an “orchard” with “Welsh trees“, an “allotment” and “bee hives” as part of the a new Spinal Injuries Unit which is to be developed at Llandough to replace the existing unit at Rookwood Hospital.
A charity called Horatio’s Garden – which has set up similar gardens for spinal injury centres elsewhere – is said to be interested in working with the Health Board to develop the Llandough orchard. The charity says that because spinal injury patients spend many months – sometimes years – in hospital with “little or no access to the outside world” – a hospital garden contributes to “a feeling of wellbeing“.
The Mayor of the Vale of Glamorgan Cllr Stuart Egan (Labour Buttrills Ward, Barry) – who is a the Trade Union representative for Unison on the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board – has nominated the orchard scheme as his “appeal for the year”.
Last year one of the members of the Health Board was Ogmore Labour MP and Labour Vale Councillor Chris Elmore who was paid in the range of £10,000 to £15,000 for his services to the Health Board . Elmore, who is still wrongly listed by the Labour Party as being a member of the Health Board, resigned on being elected MP for Ogmore.
The Cardiff and Vale Health Board employs 13,947 people
Last year the Cardiff and Vale Health Board staff claimed a total of 228,278 days off in “sickies”. Only 36% of its staff worked all their alloted days and didn’t claim days-off for sickness.