A COUNCILLOR has resigned from the Community Health Council (CHC) after it decided to back controversial changes to health services.
Flint councillor Carol Ellis has stood down from the Flintshire branch of the CHC, saying she does “not want to be associated with these decisions”.
Cllr Ellis was appointed to the health watchdog as a representative of Flintshire Council but, she says, she was shocked at the CHC executive board’s decision not to refer issues such as the closure of Flint hospital and movement of some intensive neo-natal services out of North Wales to health minister Lesley Griffiths to review.
“To say I’m bitterly disappointed is an understatement,” she said.
“We’re supposed to be a watchdog and a voice for the people.
“The Flintshire segment of the CHC put forward quite a strong case for the matter to be referred to the health minister.
“I don’t want my name associated with decisions like neo-natal care being lost from North Wales and going to the Wirral, or Flint Cottage Hospital closing.
“We were hoping it (Flint hospital) would be maintained until in-house care was rolled out and everything was in order – well, that has not happened.
“I know a lot of colleagues from Flintshire CHC had similar concerns and I’m confident our chair would have made those representations to the CHC executive.
“It was not just a case of ‘we don’t want change and we don’t want closures and that’s it’,” she said, “we’ve been following the consultation, taking on board information and trying to build a case.”
For example, she said there were still two people in Flint hospital with no alternative provision arranged if the hospital closed.
“I’ve resigned but I will continue in my role as a councillor to put forward people’s views, and Flintshire Council scrutiny will be looking at it,” she said.