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Campaign to save Flintshire hospitals continues

Published date: 11 January 2013 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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CAMPAIGNERS are vowing to fight until the end to help save their hospitals.

Next Friday a crunch meeting of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board is expected to reveal what will happen to Mold Community Hospital and Flint Community Hospital.

Under proposals which are under consultation, Flint’s hospital could close and the minor injuries and X-ray units at Mold could be axed in a controversial shake-up of North Wales’ health services.

In recent months there have been protests staged in both towns against the potential closures, with campaigners set to attend the crunch meeting in St Asaph to convey the strength of feeling.

Cllr Geoff Collett, mayor of Mold and chairman of the action goup fighting to help protect Mold Hospital, said: “It’s a critical time for us.

“If it does not go as we want it to we will not be giving up the fight. We will fight it all the way.”

Cllr Collett said he would be concerned there could be further bad news for the hospital if the ward closures take place.

“If they downgrade Mold Hospital then I feel that is the beginning of the end,” he said. “We need to keep the status of Mold Hospital as it is.”

In Flint, campaigners have vented their fury at the publication of a document presentation ahead of the meeting giving an overview of responses during the consultation on healthcare plans.

They believe the health board has not recognised the extend of the hospital campaign group’s opposition to the proposals.

Jack Reece, spokesman for the campaign to save Flint Hospital, said he believed the consultation process on the future of healthcare in North Wales to be a “sham”.

He felt this was reflected in the feelings expressed by others in a public meeting at Flint Town Hall.

Mr Reece said: “Speaker after speaker spoke to deride the findings which they say massively downplays the level of anger and opposition to the plans.

“We have thousands of signatures saying no, over 8,000 people have viewed our YouTube video and 2,500 people took to the streets to send an emphatic message to Betsi.”

Mr Reece says the campaign group is now calling for as many people as possible to attend the health board meeting. A special meeting will take place at Flint Town Hall on Monday at 7pm, where arrangements to attend the health board meeting will be made.

A health board spokesman said: “The presentation which has been published gives an analysis of some key elements of the feedback but does not represent the final report nor the decision of the board.

“The board is very clear on the strength of feeling demonstrated through the petitions and petitions are one of the ways in which many individuals choose to participate in the consultation process.

“There is no suggestion that the views of any who have taken time to contribute to petitions are being dismissed.

“It is important however that the board understands the identity of the group submitting the petition.”

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