LIVID community leaders have passed votes of no confidence in health board members and their watchdog counterparts.
Flint Town Council voted unanimously last night against both Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) and the Community Health Council (CHC) that scrutinises its decisions.
The move comes after controversial decisions to close Flint Hospital and move level three neo-natal services out of North Wales.
Mayor Vicky Perfect said councillors had been left with a ‘bitter taste in their mouths’ over decisions made by both bodies.
Introducing the motion Cllr Ian Roberts said the region’s three main hospitals were now ‘bursting at the seams’.
“Weren’t they told this was going to happen?” he asked. “You cannot take 60 beds out of a creaking system.
“There is a service struggling to cope while our hospital in Flint is being closed prematurely. It is blatantly obvious and we all knew what was going to happen.”
Cllr Roberts said BCUHB had ‘mismanaged the situation’.
“The credibility gap between what BCUHB says, what is happening on the ground, and what people think, is huge,” he said.
“Nobody believes a word they say.
“There are not enough beds for the sick. This is Britain in 2013, not a third world country. It’s absolutely astonishing.
“And does anyone believe the new health centre will be up and running in three years when the people of Buckley have waited 12 years for theirs?”
“Rarely have I felt so powerless as over the last few months.”
On the decision by the CHC not to refer the changes to the Health Minister, Wrexham AM Lesley Griffiths, Cllr Roberts said: “The CHC should be the grassroots and reflect the views of the people.
“The levels of concern across the region have been absolutely enormous.
“But when this organisation was given its moment in the spotlight, what do they do?
They freeze like a rat cornered in a trap.
“Regrettably they acted like a well behaved, well trained poodle, put their hand sup and said ‘we surrender’.”
He said he wanted to thank Carol Ellis, a Flintshire Council member representing Buckley Mountain ward, for resigning from the CHC in protest.
Cllr Alex Aldridge seconded the motion saying: “I cannot accept this with good grace. My response is anger, dismay and disbelief.”
He said despite promises of ‘a new dialogue based on trust’ from the health board, there had been a ‘total failure of communication’, with councillors left ‘scrabbling around trying to get information’.
“There will be a big hole in the heart of Flint, a lot of sorrow,” he said.
Cllr Perfect said Flint Council ‘may be knocked down, but we’re not out yet’.
Councillors agreed to write to Ms Griffiths, Delyn MP David Hanson and Delyn AM Sandy Mewies highlighting their no confidence votes.
They also agreed to ask for clarity on what would happen to assets from the hospital and Circle of Friends funds.