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Thatcher is the one to blame; VIEWPOINTS.

IT WAS nice to read Jenny Randerson (April 1) blaming Jon Owen Jones for the CRI closure and Jon fighting back (April 12), even if neither of them is 100% accurate.

The real reason for the CRI closure falls firmly on the shoulders of Maggie Thatcher!

When she removed Crown Immunity from all NHS properties the responsibility for fire & statutory requirements for hospitals was transferred from the Home Office to local authorities and "Improvement & Prohibition Notices" were able to be issued against hospitals in the same way as against any other buildings such as hotels etc.

Consequently a huge list of fire and statutory improvements/ requirements with an estimated cost of pounds 30m-plus was required if the CRI was to remain open.

In the years following at least two Improvement Notices were issued against the CRI with time scales for completion which were not met.

The frustration of the local authority fire officer led to the threat that a prohibition notice with date for closure was made.

The decision required of Mr Hague was then find the money or close the CRI. For me the decision to close the CRI was inevitable, regardless of the politics. Don't get me wrong, having worked there for 21 years I knew it backwards and loved every fascinating inch of the CRI, but it was a "rabbit warren" and a 'fire disaster waiting to happen.

Similarly more than pounds 6m had to be spent to bring Glossop Terrace, commonly called CRI West Wing, up to fire & statutory requirements to keep it open.

So if you want to put the real blame on anybody for the CRI closure, Thatcher's your woman!

More importantly keep your eye on "Thatcher's love child", Cameron and his best mate Clegg and what they are doing with the NHS in England.

* Doug Bragg Cathays, Cardiff
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Apr 18, 2011
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