2 Feb 2010



Major concerns about the use of the former Doctor's Surgery in Caernarfon.

Gwynedd Councillor Roy Owen is concerned about the prospects of having drug abusers on the street in a prime location surrounded by the elderly. Councillor Roy Owen spoke to Caernarfon Online about the purchase of the building at the bottom of Snowdon and Garnon Street.

"I will be fighting this all the way as I have my constituents living on the door steps of all this. I have already gone to great lengths in showing the problem of drug abuse at Love Lane and now we have this amazing proposal. Caernarfon is no worse than other town's of its size and I realise people with drug problems need help, but this is a totally unsuitable location for such a venture. Right opposite the old surgery we have Tre Gof which is home for many of the town's elderly and my priority will be to ensuring these people can live their lives in safety. Thy should not have to endure meeting drug users every day of their lives."

Residents of Pool Lane Caernarfon told us that of their own experiences a few years ago when they had to endure the effects of having a Soup Kitchen in their street. Drug abusers used to hide needles in the street and quite often slept in doorways when the kitchen was closed for the night. One resident who wishes to remain anonymous told us. "Every day we had to divert around people lying in the street and often met with abuse when approached by beggars asking for money to feed their drug and alcohol habits. I realise Alcoholics have a problem but all we saw were dirty individuals who you did not ant to associate with. These people may be on their down side but why should the rest of us have to endure their problems. I sympathise with the residents of Garnon Street, Snowdon Street and Tre Gof"


Here is the paperwork connected with the site. We will let you decide if this is suitable for such a populated area of Caernarfon.




The Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board strategic direction document "A blueprint for the future - BCU HB 2009", outlines the organisations aspiration for the next three years. II provides a clear commitment to delivering safe and effective services when and where needed with a focus on overcoming challenges, which relate to access, geography, demography, language and other inherent social problems. To make this a reality a number of themes have been developed to inform the organisations plans. These include:

    Making it safe

    Making it better Making it sound

    Making it work

    Making it happen

In pursuing these themes, the Substance Misuse Service is proposing to relocate the main office of the Substance Misuse Service from Star near Gaerwen, Anglesey to two new sites which will be more accessible for patients and better suited to providing safe and better services.

Approximately half the staff team will be relocated to Llangefni into an existing clinic facility which will be expanded and refurbished and the remainder of the staff team will relocate to Bron Seiont in Caernarvon which will also be refurbished.

The Gwynedd and Anglesey Community Safety Partnership Substance Misuse Action Teams are using capital money made available by the Welsh Assembly Government to take both these developments forward.

The Welsh Assembly Government has already indicated its support for the prposal.

Who is going to be using the building?

Approximately 20 clinical staff including nurses, doctors and other NHS clinicians and colleagues from other partner agencies e.g. CAIS and the Criminal Justice Service.

Patients will be seen in the main by prior appointment (up to 20 per day). Occasional open sessions for up to 20 patients will also be arranged. The level of activity will therefore be far less than when the premises were used as a GP surgery.

Who are the patients?

Local people, of all ages, who are currently receiving NHS services for alcohol and drug problems, many of whom would have previously been seen at this building when it was used as a GP surgery. In addition, new patients who we hope to engage in services and who require this provision in the future.

What will be the opening hours?

Standard office hours 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday. Occasional evening sessions may also be arranged for a small number of individuals (no more than 10).

There are no facilities for patients to stay overnight and there is no intention to provide residential type accommodation now or in the future. The design of the building and planning conditions would not allow this in any case.

How will you control parking?

The premises have a parking area which will be monitored by CCTV. Staff and visitors alike will use the car park and be encouraged to use other nearby parking facilities.

Where is the service currently provided?

Three separate locations in Caernarfon and in various other locations throughout the Arfon area.

Why is this development considered necessary?

Providing a service from a building which will be fit for the 21st century will improve the quality and standard of provision for patients. This, in turn, will contribute towards achieving more positive outcomes for patients.

Dividing the service in the way proposed will ensure that provision is modernised and better placed to meet the needs of people in both counties. Each area will then have a service centre (hub) to support the existing local clinics which will be preserved. This will ensure that patients in all areas of the county have easy access to a clinic.

What types of treatment will be provided?

    Psychological therapies (counselling services)

    Health education

    Motivational enhancement

    Relapse prevention

    Pharmacological therapy (substitute prescribing) Harm reduction services

How will this improve the problems caused by substance misuse in Caernarfon?

People who have drug and / or alcohol problems and are in treatment are known to cause few problems within the communities in which they live. It is hoped that by having a stronger presence in the town that people who are not currently engaged with services will be more likely to take up treatment. This being the case the number of problems caused by those people who are difficult or reluctant to engage with services should reduce over time.



Caernarfon Online, 16 Pool Lane, Caernarfon, Gwynedd. LL55 2AL

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