FEARS are growing for the future of a hospital threatened with cuts.
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board is proposing to close the Minor Injuries Unit and X-ray department at Mold Community Hospital as part of a major shake-up of healthcare.
But community leaders say the service cuts could spell the beginning of the end for the hospital on Ash Grove.
Mayor of Mold, Cllr Geoff Collett, who has helped co-ordinate a protest march today opposing the cuts, told a meeting of Mold Town Council: “Once they have done this it will be a downward spiral for Mold Hospital.”
Neighbouring Buckley councillors share the same fears.
Speaking at a meeting of Buckley Town Council, Cllr Carol Ellis said: “Losing the X-ray and the MIU will be the first step to Mold Hospital closing.
“While the changes taking place don’t directly affect Buckley, believe me they will affect Buckley people. Each and every person who needs health care will be affected.”
Cllr Dennis Hutchinson added: “Mold has always had a hospital and the next thing they will be doing is talking about closing it down.”
The proposed cost cutting measure is part of a wider move by BCUHB to reorganise services in the area, with Flint Community Hospital facing the prospect of complete closure as the health board looks to make savings of £64.6million this year.
Health chiefs propose to create ‘hospital hubs’ at Holywell Community Hospital, Deeside Community Hospital and Wrexham Maelor, where extended hospital services, such as MIU and X-ray will be provided.
But community leaders in Mold argue their hospital should be a hub.
Cllr Collett added: “They are not taking into account that Mold is already a hub town in this area – they are stopping Mold from being a hub hospital.”
Two protest marches will take place in the town today at 1pm and 5pm, starting at the hospital grounds and making their way to Clwyd Theatr Cymru where there will be a meeting about the proposals.
Cllr Collett is urging everyone to make their views known.
He added: “I would appeal to every single councillor to write a letter to the health board.
“We are asking you not to just complain about the closure, but to point out the error of their ways.”
A spokesman for the health board said: “We would like to assure Mold Town Council and everyone who uses Mold Community Hospital there are no plans for its closure.
“The proposed changes to Mold Community Hospital, as outlined in our consultation document, are to close the Minor Injuries Unit and X-ray service.
Inpatient beds, outpatient clinics and daycare will continue on this site.
“To improve community services provided across North Wales, including Mold, we propose to introduce an Enhanced Care Service, which will provide more care for people in their own homes with extra help from nurses, therapists, social workers and voluntary organisations.”