COMMUNITY leaders are vowing to keep fighting to save a hospital.
A meeting of Flint Town Council heard the closure of Flint Community Hospital’s minor injuries unit could be less than two weeks away, with no new patients to be admitted.
Members vented their anger and voiced fears for the future of healthcare in the town.
Cllr Ian Roberts was one of several councillors to speak out against the plans, saying he felt “astonished” the health board could potentially make closures before the Community Health Council (CHC) had responded to the proposals.
The CHC still has three weeks to decide whether it will have the power to lodge a referral with Lesley Griffiths, Wrexham AM and minister for health.
Cllr Roberts said the name of the health board’s modernisation programme, Healthcare in North Wales is Changing, indicated plans were firmly in place to go ahead with closure despite high amounts of objections.
“It was a very definite word to use,” he said.
“We need to write as a town council to the CHC expressing this town council’s grave reservations.
“We need to continue to pursue this.”
The council has agreed to write to the CHC and to Lesley Griffiths to convey its opposition.
Cllr Roberts said he was also concerned at the transport issues people may face if they need to go for minor injury treatment at other hospitals, potentially having to wait at bus stops covered in blood and then travel several miles.
“We need to make loud and clear our opposition to this,” he said.
The councillors’ concerns were shared by Delyn MP David Hanson.
In a letter dated January 23, Mr Hanson wrote to Flint town clerk Nigel Jones about the issue.
“I’m disappointed that beds are proposed to be lost in Flint.
“Hospital beds are needed locally and I hope this can be
re-examined further. I am also concerned that the minor injuries unit is proposed for closure at Flint hospital.
“I know just how much people in Flint value these services and want them reinstated.”
A spokesman for the health board said: “At the moment the CHC is considering its response to our planned changes and we fully respect its position.
“However, we have to balance this with safety of services, our use of resources and our desire to implement the planned service improvements.
“The board will continue to work with the CHC over the next few weeks to address any outstanding concerns but it is right that, where appropriate, we move forward without undue delay.”